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Big Sur - Hiking Andrew Molera State Park

One of the great delights of living in the Bay Area is the proximity to the natural beauty of California and it's hard to beat the stunning drive down Highway One to Big Sur. This is certainly one of the iconic American road trips, but for me the joy of being in the area is getting out of your car and hitting a trail, so you can be "in" the landscape rather than just looking at it from the asphalt. 

Celafacchio Country House

Where ever we travel I like to try to stay in a wide variety of different types of accommodation. Most recently we've stayed  in anything from simple rented rooms, to boutique bed and breakfasts,  a tented camp (in Jordan) and as anyone who follows this blog knows, I can't pass up a good deal at a luxury hotel or spa! It's always good to mix things up, both to meet the budget but also because different accommodations attract a range of people and create a variety of experiences. When we plan a trip to Italy we always  try to include time at an agritourismo. Agritourimsos, or farm stays, can vary from the the very basic and very rural (like the one we stayed at in the Veneto where you could smell the cows) to  more elegant properties like Celafacchio Country House where we stayed in Canosa di Puglia on our recent trip. 
We ate breakfast outside everyday, the restaurant is in the background.

What's great about staying in an agritourismo is that you have an opportunity  to try local products and produce, and to learn about regional farming methods. There also seems to be a more communal atmosphere and we find we're more likely to meet other travelers which is always fun. Celafacchio  was wonderful because we were able to take a tour of their wine making facilities from their viticulturist and learn about when, why and how they started producing their biodynamic wine.
The walk down to the pool.
There are two suites but we opted for one of their regular rooms which was inexpensive, small and rather simple. It was a long way to haul our bags up to the third floor! However, overall it was a great value. The continental breakfast was the very best of what was in season and produced locally. The public spaces are elegantly furnished and there is plenty of space to sit outside or lounge by the pool. 
The dining room
Michal in the kitchen.
The staff were fantastic, everyone was so helpful and welcoming and they gave us lots of  ideas about where to go and what to eat as well as chatting to us at length about the Slow Food movement and Puglia in general. The joy of visiting a place like Celafacchio  is meeting like minded people and supporting a sustainable, organic business.
Highly recommended!

Tip: One of the advantages of staying here is the opportunity to eat at the  slowfood favorite  Antichi Sapori in nearby Montegrosso. Look out for the upcoming  post on the fabulous meal we enjoyed there!
A wonderful organic breakfast,  natural yoghurt, cherries from the farm, dried fruit, apricots and brioche, fantastic!