Environmental awareness in wonderful Le Marche

Bob and Ian, owners of Casal dei Fichi, share some of their thoughts and motivations around inclusive travel and property owners responsibilities toward the environment we share.

Casal dei Fichi (below) has been our home for 15 years, half of the time that we have been together. 30 years ago the world was a very different place, particularly the hospitality industry. It seems unbelievable that one of us would wait outside while the other booked a double hotel room.

But even in the liberal progressive world that we now live in, it’s still reassuring to know that wherever we go, and we love to travel, we will be made truly welcome. With that in mind Further Afield is our go to site when planning our trips and we’re proud to be listed on the collection. Guests who come here to beautiful Le Marche are looking for stunning views, blue flag beaches, undiscovered medieval towns and some of Italy’s finest food and wine and at Casal dei Fichi everyone is guaranteed a warm welcome, whoever they are. We live on site and are always eager to share our passion for this magical region with our guests, every week we host a complimentary pizza party, the highlight of some people’s week and certainly of ours.

One thing which is particularly important to us is our impact on our planet and the environment. We have always tried to apply best environmental practices from encouraging 0Km home grown fruit and vegetables to running an all electric car and sourcing unlimited solar heated water. We hope that by demonstrating that making positive steps towards leading a less environmentally impactful life does not necessarily mean compromising on comfort.

We are founder members of The Star Throwers a worldwide network of holiday rental professionals who strive to improve our community on a local or global basis. A key component is encouraging guest involvement in the chosen project. Every year we meet hundreds of people at Casal dei Fichi and it is reassuring to discover how the overwhelming majority share our concerns about the damage which is being done to the environment. What if we could somehow harness their concern and enable them to contribute to some worthwhile project while they were here, without preaching to them or interfering with their holiday. So we decided to ask our guests to simply do what we all already love, enjoy a delicious meal at one of our fantastic local restaurants.

Treedom is an Italian not for profit organisation which raises funds from individuals to huge corporations to plant trees in developing countries, this provides an income to the communities that raise them. And it plants trees! which are overwhelming regarded by the scientific community as the most effective way of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

How we engage is very simple, over the years we have built up a database of some fantastic restaurants in the Marche region, often involving intensive research on our part, many of these are firm favourites with our guests. We approached a selection of these restaurants and asked if they would be prepared to make a donation, typically 10% of the bill, to Treedom. In return the restaurant is highlighted in our guide as contributing to the project. By just eating in a simple trattoria, an elegant converted palazzo or on the finest seafood in a stunning location our guests just present a card on payment, the restaurant makes a deduction which our guests place into an envelope.

We then add our contribution and simply log onto the Casal dei Fichi area of the Treedom site, allocate trees to the participating restaurants so that they can see their contribution. The trees are geotagged so each contributor can individually follow their trees’ progress and publicise their generous contributions. We feel massively privileged to do what we do and even more so to be able to use what we do to make a positive impact on the environment.


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