Moving away from the gigantic amusement park that is the Riviera, we turn towards a web of genuine places where you eat under a plastic sheet, among cowboy hats and lampshades, or in the heart of a hunting scene, in a room frescoed by a local painter. We are in Romagna, where fantasy seems to walk alongside reality. The route continues across a rickety little bridge, then enters a trail punctuated by pomegranate trees, leading to a stone bearing the inscription 57: we have arrived.
An old book tells us that Ospedaletto 57 stands on the remains of what was once a small country hospital, shabby yet replete with stories. When the property was bought by Cristina’s family, the place began to transform at the pace of the people who lived there, becoming a container of happy memories. The initial idea was to furnish it with what was there and to gradually take in the harvest of journeys: the result is a bizarre mix of antique furniture from Romagna, bells from Arcosanti, chairs stuffed by local women, collections of dolls from Calabria and who knows how many other things – in the garden there is a stone elephant that arrived from India in a container. The most surprising metamorphosis concerns the old farm shed which has now become a loft to welcome guests: a luminous giant in constant metamorphosis where Cristina scatters limited editions and pieces of art, suggesting local artists or big names in the spirit of Take me I’m yours. The book of the house is kept safe somewhere in the property and it represents the map of which Cristina’s father is a cartographer: that’s where he draws, transcribes and cuts out every event taking place at Ospedaletto, intertwining it with major events happening around the world. The fall of the twin towers alongside the house renovations, his daughters’ weddings and the arrival of the euro, the words, the signatures and the first guests are the cardinal points to find your way around this Russian doll of places.
Words and photographs Federica Calzi.