Dario came to Umbria from Ravenna in 1978, Dagmar, german, lives in Italy since 1981. They met in a commune near Orvieto.

 

Dario and Dagmar tell:

 

In 1983 we bought a farm which had been abandoned for 15 years. The fields were overgrown and the house almost a ruin, but the place had a strong fascination for us: that is how Walden was born.

Iris were blooming on that april 26 in 1983, when we first saw Walden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The road leading to the house was rather looking like a dried out stream, weeds and thorn bushes were laying siege to the house. Nevetheless, we loved this place from the very start.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We started by fixing a part of the house. So that we could live in it before winter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we repaired the wood oven (even before building the bathroom inside the house).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking bread was to us a priority... almost a ritual.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile our family was growing and the children growing up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jordie, born in 1982

 

Jennifer, born in 1984

 

Judith, born in 1986

 

Julia, born in 1990

 

So in 1988 we begun...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

to enlarge the house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is how it looked like before...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and this is afterwards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Than, Dario and Dagmar decided that 4 children were enough!

 

In 1988 arrives Peppe, known as "the professor".

 

 

Followed by Sabrina

 

We also begun working to build a new stable for the cows,

 

and a horse stable,

 

 

and finally, painting the roof.

 

The stable is finished and the cows...

 

 

and horses look happy with their brand new home.

 

 

Then we thought about building a new house at the place of the old pigsty. This would be the home for Edwin and Paula, Dagmar's parents, who more and more often had been staying long periods in Walden.

 

 

Edwin, Dagmar's father, helped a great deal in buildind Walden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paula, Dagmar's mother, cooks for the whole family.

 

 

 

 

 

1992: the demolition starts. Meanwhile the old elm tree is dead. Its trunk (120 cm diametr) was completly hollow and the children used it as a hideout, descending on it with a ladder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old people in the village tell that the farmer used to hide the harvest in it  to save it from the Germans... Edwin here is carrying straw to the hens in a old pannier

 

 

A last photo on the branches of the dead giant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing for the new building

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The foundation... In the background a heap of stones coming from the demolition of the pigsty, ready to be used in the new building

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The work is almost done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An old barrel... this was our first swimming pool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

but in 1995 we started building a real one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1996 we decided to build a country house for guests

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midway between the swimming pool and the woods...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Among the olive trees and the oak trees the new building takes its shape.