A night in Agrifoglio

When we drove south to Calabria in August, we were hoping to get a room at the B & B we stayed in nine years ago in Scigliano–B & B Calabria.

What were we thinking? It was Ferragosto week, and our friend Raffaele could not accommodate us. He recommended another B & B, in a different part of Scigliano, the frazione of Agrifoglio. I didn’t know there was such a thing.

Valentino (left) and Mario de Rose welcomed us to the B & B Agrifoglio.

Valentino (left) and Mario de Rose welcomed us to the B & B Agrifoglio.

Agrifoglio is a tiny hamlet a little higher in the Sila foothills than Scigliano, and closer to the town of Colosimi. We took the road to Colosimi, and after a couple of phone calls to get directions from the Bed and Breakfast Agrifoglio, Valentino arrived at the old, now closed, Coraci railroad station, to meet us. From there we wound our way along the hillsides for the few miles to Agrifoglio.

The B & B was renovated in the last couple of years, and has two rooms for rent. Both are large, comfortable second-floor rooms (that is the first floor in Italy, because they don’t number the ground floor, but second floor in American), and have private bathrooms. There is also a lounge for guests. Downstairs in the breakfast room the wall is adorned with Mario’s certificate as a “Cavaliere” (champion) of “Sua Maesta” (his majesty) the pepperoncino, issued by the Italian Academy of the Pepperoncino.Agrifoglio-certificate

Valentino speaks English pretty well–his dad, Mario, doesn’t. Both are very hospitable, and we were happy to have a comfortable bed (with memory foam pad), and windows that opened as the evening cooled off. The bathroom had a toilet, sink, and tub/shower, but the hand-held shower head did not have a secure holder, so really had to be hand-held.

Grapes ripening in the B & B's garden.

Grapes ripening in the B & B’s garden.

Agrifoglio is very small–there’s no restaurant or even a coffee shop, so we drove back to Colosimi for dinner at the Blue Moon Ristorante Pizzeria, and were glad we did. No one there spoke English, but we got by, and enjoyed the pizza we shared. In fact we liked it enough to go back a few nights later! They were doing a booming business that night, and everyone in the place seemed to know each other–gotta love small town life.

Agrifoglio-breakfastAfter a terrific breakfast the next morning (check out the photo!) at the B & B, Mario and Valentino showed us around their garden–grapevines, dahlias, sunflowers, and a couple of holly bushes. When I commented on them, Valentino told me that’s what “agrifoglio” means–holly. And when we prepared to pack up, they packed up too–a bunch of the breakfast food went into a take-home bag for us to have for lunch.Agrifoglio-garden

I recommend this place for anyone needing a stop on the way up to the Sila, and it is roomy enough to be comfortable for a few nights if you’re exploring the area. We hadn’t planned to stay there, but I’m glad we did.