Federico can see clearly where «Biodiversamente» is heading for the future: “I will continue to work my land in Glori, but I’ve decided to also rent a one-hectare plot at a lower altitude, with a sea view, where I will grow lavender. I have also planted some avocados, as an experiment. I would like to focus on lavender and olives, and also be an oil taster as an added value. Over the course of the year, the two crops kind of go with each other well. After planting, the lavender doesn’t need too much work. Then, the weeds are removed and the flowers and stems are harvested and distilled using a still”, explains Federico. Among his farm’s products, there is an essential oil roll-onstick which is perfect for burns and mosquito bites. “It was my girlfriend’s idea”, he says. He will soon also be involved in a social farming project, where, for the first time, he will combine the competencies he acquired studying psychology with those of a lavender producer: he will open his farm to some patients being looked after by the welfare services, giving them the opportunity to spend the day in a healthy environment, following the entire production cycle, from burying the plant to weeding, pruning, and finally harvesting.
Federico is feeding his passion for networking also through his membership in 360Liguria, an informal group of farmers, restaurateurs and hospitality businesses that have gathered together to offer tourists the opportunity to live experiences in the area. “After the emergency, 2021 will be an important year for the development of the network”, explains Federico. One of the localities involved is Borgomaro, with its albergo diffuso (or ‘spread out hotel’, with rooms scattered across a village, rather than on one site, as in traditional hotels). There, he planted a small lavender field and his products are for sale. “Not being able to take part in fairs, because of the ongoing emergency, I’m looking for satellites across the territory”, he says. Another one is bar cum restaurant ‘L’Oste e la strega’, in Glori, which, unfortunately is closed on Mondays, the day of our visit, meaning that we weren’t able to taste the lavender tiramisu, prepared with the flowers picked by Federico. It is worth, therefore, planning another trip to Valle Argentina.
360Liguria is an informal network that was set up to promote tourism in western Liguria, between Alassio and Albenga and the French border. Members – and Federico Guadalupi is one of them – offer their know-how and service delivery competence for the pursuit of a common objective, linked to the promotion of a type of tourism that has a 360° view of Liguria, whose wealth is not just the coast and the Riviera.
The group has entered into a pact of cooperation and provides coordinated tourist services in terms of organization and promotion, although members are independent in the delivery of their service.
The activities that are offered to tourists can be divided into three categories: experience & nature, sport & outdoor, hospitality & food. Federico offers 360Liguria tourists the opportunity to visit Biodiversamente’s two lavender fields, both of which are open to people of all ages for experiential activities and workshops.