Frequently asked questions arise during our video calls with potential visitors. Can you do this, is there … So here are the most important things for those interested in advance.
What’s the Corona situation over there ?
By now, we have all mutated into mindless zombies … no … in the countryside everything is very relaxed. We try not to pay more attention than necessary to the whole thing. Around town there is a mask requirement, as everywhere else, but people are relatively relaxed about it. Tests for entry and exit of the country depend on the country of origin and destination, also whether you come by plane or train. We last had a visit from Switzerland in February 2021 who came by train and only needed a test for entry, but not on the way home.
Can you do … ?
As long as it doesn’t collide with our vision, doesn’t interfere with someone’s freedom, even after your departure, and doesn’t cause us more work than it’s good for us, just do it.
Do you do homeschooling, free learning or …?
We see ourselves as free learners, but in order to steer everything in a legally correct path, our children will take annual exams. Both is possible though.
Do you have to be vaccinated?
Just if the children are supposed to attend regular school, otherwise no.
What do you guys eat?
We basically cook vegetarian, but we are also not averse to vegan cuisine. If you have special requirements or allergies, we ask you to help us cook. You can buy meat and prepare it if you want it, but it won’t be in the dishes of the communal kitchen.
Do you have animals? Can you bring your own? Can you eat them?
Currently only our two female dogs Tara and Nala inhabit the property, when those two are in heat, the neighbors’ dogs live here as well. We want to bring in a few small animals soon, guinea pigs, fish, quail and chickens are on the wish list … about the giraffe, monkey and desert fox we’ll have to talk again. Later on we want to have horses here too, Kim is a Parelli trainer, but until then some time will pass. If you want to bring your animal(s) with you, we will surely find space. “Live and let live” applies to all living beings on our property, which means “petting but not slaughtering” for animals.
Can I bring sweets for the kids?
In our experience, a larger group of children combined with sugar is an explosive mixture. If you want to do something good for our children, bring things with you to do handicrafts, paint or be creative in other ways. Better yet, give them time and creative ideas. Take them on a trip or, even better, show them your hobby, set new impulses and inspire them.
Do you let your children play on cell phones?
We do not want to lock our children into a bubble that bursts at some point in contact with other children and completely overwhelms them. Instead, we want to teach our children responsible media consumption and explain the differences between valuable and harmful content. Learning tablets are freely accessible here, but of course they are also used to play. As long as other children are there to play and other more interesting opportunities to play are available, in our experience even a tablet at some point becomes boring.
Are you allowed to smoke, drink alcohol, etc.?
Basically, “Live and let live” applies to everyone as long as it remains within boundaries that are acceptable to everyone. When we can’t party and have fun anymore, something is wrong. We do not want to establish any dogmas or issue bans. Our property offers great opportunities to enjoy nature with all your senses, if you think you have to numb your body with some substances or change your perception, then that’s up to you. It would be nice though, if you don’t show the children that drug consumption is normal and protect them from active and passive consumption of addictive substances. For us, addictive substances also include sugar and chemical flavorings. In any case, when you are in contact with our children, we ask for a clear head.
If your consumption of alcohol, for example, turns out to be such that communication with you is no longer possible, or if a character emerges that is unpleasant for others, we ask you to withdraw into your rooms. Should this become a regular thing, we reserve the right to ask you to leave.
How did your community come about?
We left our respective home countries to save our children from the respective school system and to become free learners. The idea of putting our children in a system that is still based on dictatorship, obedience, compulsions and fears was simply unbearable. Instead, we were looking for a place where our children could develop freely and let their energy flow. They should be allowed to pursue their interests when they want and also have the energy for them.
First we met in a half-abandoned Italian mountain village where a community was already emerging. The merely neighborly character and the narrow and winding streets initially seemed romantic, but quickly turned out to be a golden cage separated from nature, not to mention neighbors who complained about too loud children. That is why we looked for a place in the countryside where we could let off steam to our hearts’ content. So we came to a property with a great villa, big enough for everything we intend to do. Hence the name Villa Villecolla.
How do you live?
We enjoy life and mainly deal with the things we like to do and put our vision into action.
Every morning at 9 o’clock there is a morning circle, where we briefly discuss what is to be done, until then everyone is usually up and has had breakfast at their own pace. We have tasks from the areas of operation, design and events , where we ensure that daily operations are done first. Everyone can choose their tasks themselves. Afterwards everyone swarms out and does their thing, some work on projects, others take care of the household or organize study times with the kids.
Around 12:30 p.m., a piercing cry is ringing out across the land: “Luuunchtiiiiiimeeee !!!!” … it is mostly ignored because everyone is absorbed in their work … 5 minutes later comes the next scream and everyone starts running … or soon after … latecomers are called out by name. After eating, everyone washes their plate and then usually goes straight back to their previous activity. Sometimes we take a trip instead.
After dinner, around 7:00 p.m., we slowly try to calm the sack of fleas and begin the evening ritual. Brushing teeth and reading stories, sometimes there’s a movie. Mostly chosen by the random generator, so we avoid discussions with tired and easily irritable powder kegs 🙂
Every now and then there is a grown-ups game night that usually starts with a discussion with the older kids about bedtime and ends sometime in the middle of the night with a very thin circle of persistent players. Sometimes neighbors or residents of the nearby village also come here and bring culinary specialties or new games.
There is still room to design for everything else, we look forward to your input!
Am I allowed to camp?
Pick a spot 🙂 Camping is included in the monthly contribution.
How much space do you have?
About 3 hectares, mainly olive grove, partly steep slope to the river bed, some forest, and a lot of space outside.
Do you have internet?
10 Mbit / s download, 2 Mbit / s upload, currently only in the main building. Sufficient for smooth video telephony (1 channel, if someone else wants to watch a film next to it then it’s getting stuck). In Italy there are mobile phone contracts with 50 GB of data, which can be canceled monthly, for around € 7 / month. LTE modem with WiFi router for € 100/3 months, then € 30 / month.
Do I need a car?
With us, a bus drives past our front door 4 times a day to the village. From there a train or bus goes to the next larger city 1-2 times a day. However, none of us has managed to come back the same day. In the village you can get pretty much everything for your daily needs, if you want to go to the hardware store, shop for clothes or go on excursions, a car is recommended. A trip to the beach by bus in the afternoon is usually limited to 2 hours, but the time is enough for a quick dip, otherwise the beach feeling is also nice in our large sandbox.
How old are your children?
We currently have children of all ages from 2010 to 2017 in the core group. One boy from 2017, one from 2012 and the rest are girls. So we’re still looking for families with boys.
How old are you?
Kim 1984, Robert 1985, Lucas 1992, in the neighboring village and the neighborhood there are also older semesters and we would like our group to grow mixed.
Who is there?
Currently 3 adults and 7 kids. Our friends also come regularly from the neighboring village, then we are 3-5 adults and 3-5 children more. We often have friends or family over here. At peak times in summer we had 41 people in the house for pizza night.
Who are you looking for?
Whoever comes to us should be open and dreamers as well as doers. We are looking for spirits who want to be free, not just to get out of the system, but to create something else. If you are passionate about something and you just don’t have the place to do it, you will find it here, maybe even people to help you. If you have kids with you who still know how to be wild and curious, be sure to bring them with you.
Where are you exactly?
Calabria in southern Italy, a little south of Soverato. You will get the exact location when we invite you. The weather here is suitable for t-shirt and barefoot lovers except for 2-3 months in winter.
How are the people there?
The people are very friendly and like to share, especially when you speak a few words of Italian, this is a huge door opener. Unfortunately, you don’t get very far with English. But there are quite a few expats here.
What is all of this cost?
Please have a look at the page Contributions.