Living a simpler life. Just the basics, nothing more. It sounds so easy, yet it’s so difficult. Padma took the decision to just that in 2011 when she inherited a centuries-old olive grove in a National Park on the Adriatic coast.
Together with a couple of friends, she left her hectic life and all her possessions in Milan and settled there to found a community with a natural, sustainable lifestyle. Eight years later, she’s the only remaining founder. Visitors come and go, staying for a month to a couple of years, but rarely does someone decide to stay indefinitely. The main drive is self-sufficiency: the electricity is solar-powered, the water supplies come from rain, and their crops are cultivated.
All resources are available in abundance, yet they see them as extremely valuable. They are nearly vegan and growing food is an integral part of life in the Ecovillage. Not only is this the most sustainable way to produce fresh, healthy, and nourishing food, it is also efficient and cost-effective. The meals are always balanced and eaten slowly. They enjoy their meals and rarely mix different ingredients together, but eat them one by one.
No money is used. Whenever possible, the community provides its members all the necessities. The rest functions through a gift economy system where goods and services are given away freely without monetary exchange. While the community members left modern society to escape the materialistic chase, they now depend on the outside world to satisfy the basic needs that they cannot secure on their own like food that they cannot grow, cooking pots, working tools for cutting branches…
A complete escape from society is not possible, but they hope that one day everyone will choose their lifestyle in an attempt to save the planet. Respect for nature plays a big role in their lives, but that’s not their sole purpose: personal growth is another one. Meditation and yoga is part of their daily routine. Being happy with the simple things in life, enjoying every second of it, and not having to worry about anything; this is a luxury many people dream of, still many see their lifestyle as a step backward.