The dream, the name, the place
We are a couple of ex Milan townies, with two lively children who are used to spending as much time as possible in the open air.
A few years ago we thought about moving to live in Sweden, a country where we had enjoyed many summer holidays thanks to a wonderful Grandmother. We left for a few weeks at Christmas time and loved it despite the cold and dark which changed our lifestyle seeing we are Italian and used to other latitudes.
Nothing came of it and we returned to Milan with a lithograph of a imaginative tree found in a shop in the center of Stockholm which we hung in the hall in our home. The lithograph stayed hanging there until a few years later when we decided to make our dream come true by going to live in Viceno in the mountains, and to keep a part of our new home to host friends and guests.
The location we chose to make our dream come true, and for which we were lucky enough to receive approval, was not an isolated building surrounded by countryside but a place right in the heart of the town. If you actually look at Viceno from a height, it seems as if the Genius Loci, or the spirit of the place, has the tip of the compass pointed right in the center of our little garden.
When the time came to decide on a name for our Bed&Breakfast and to design the logo, we mulled and mulled for days and days exchanging candid signals. We finally decided on Terrarara, a tribute to the many beautiful meanings of the word “terra” in Italian. Starting from a territory which makes life magic, to the ground which nourishes plants, to the planet which hosts all of us, combined with the adjective “rara” (rare) to form a single word, perfectly suited to a very unique place.The name Terrarara is also a tribute to modern technology: “terre rare” (rare lands) is also the name of certain chemical elements originating from minerals which are fundamental for alternative energy sources and electronics, two of the mainstays of a life project which brought Terrarara into being.
A standard Bed&Breakfast would not have meant anything to us, we insisted on it being “green”; we believe that this is the future, the way forward and firmly support the increasingly popular theory that “we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”.
We would never, even remotely have considered moving from Milan without a banal internet connection, a computer and a cell phone to make us feel part of the world despite our being in a such a remote, extraordinary place.
As far as the logo was concerned, we realized that the essence had to be the same as the lithograph we purchased in Stockholm which had been hanging in our hall in Milan for a few winters. In a corner, a signature, a name a site: the Swedish artist Lotta Olsson agreed to work with us. After a couple of months of daily contact and trials upon trials we finally stumbled on the final version: a green stylized branch in the shape of the capital letter T, featuring different extending shapes and colours blending into leaves and flowers with the name Terrarara in sans serif placed in the center.
To be honest, it is much more than a logo, it is an authentic expression of our love for nature.
Our passion for both real trees and for Lotta’s trees still continues today. The Swedish artist has recently designed the pattern for a collection of porcelain and fabrics for littala, one of the outstanding names in Scandinavian design. Her creations were promptly ordered for our house!
The outside of the house has been renovated in line with the local protected building style known as the Vecchio Borgo which includes around 20 houses in the most historical residential area of Viceno dating back to the early 1500s.
The style imposes returning to traditional materials and local architectural features – such as using minimal sized windows combined with horizontal beams and inside curtains – respecting the surrounding landscapes.
The Vecchio Borgo is an extremely precious programme which has prevented new buildings being constructed and protected the historical residential pattern allowing the old and new renovations to live together in harmony.
Our house in particular blends stone and wood sourced from old demolished local buildings.
The building repeats the east/west adaptation of the old rustic dwelling which is of distinct interest from a bioclimatic perspective.
While designing the indoor areas with the Architect Piero Piana, we faced the day areas towards south and east in order to catch as much light as possible during the daytime; the night time areas are in the north facing part of the building so as to always be cool and comfortable.
The inside areas have been purposely designed in the Scandinavian style featuring both warmth and a minimalistic flair.
A touch of contamination is brought by local craftsmanship (such as the Kamares pottery characterized by distinct blue strokes) placed side by side with Italian industrial design creations (such as the refined gres in the bathrooms designed by Patricia Urquiola for Mutina) and pure Nordic traditional design.
The Nordic touch is particularly obvious in the functional division of the areas starting from the entrance where our guests remove their muddy boots in exchange for comfortable slippers. Northern Europe is a subtle element throughout the house starting from the repetition of the theme of nature in every corner, moving through to the building materials such as wood for every horizontal surface, to the numerous windows which may be small but underline the breathtaking views outside, to the wall decorations and even cups and cushions. A consistent overall attention to detail is part of the background belonging to us culturally as well as stemming from our profession seeing we are first and foremost both architects.
Who are we?
We are Daniele and Laura and we have two fantastic children called Francesco and Gabriele.
My name is Daniele Baroncelli and I have always lived in the clouds… I am a pilot and could never do anything else! I am also the son of a diplomat so I have travelled the world over and lived practically everywhere.
One of the great advantages of my job is that I see a never ending amount of hotel rooms in every part of the world from Hong Kong to Bolivia; I well know that a good bed and a rich breakfast are some of the great pleasures in life and bring real added value to top hotels.
We did not decide to open a Bed&Breakfast by chance.
My love of nature brought me to live here instead of in a big city like where I used to live and still spend time because of my work, it is part of my genetic heritage stemming from my Swedish roots which I have never let go of.
My name is Laura Lazzaroni, I am an architect and have always worked in the area of design, image and communication especially connected to the Milan Salone Internazionale del Mobile. I have written books, curated exhibitions and organized various types of events in Italy and abroad.
Ever since I was a little girl running through the fields and woods filled with an unforgettable perfume I have dreamt of coming to live here between the blue skys and green valleys. As a teenager I used to say that I wanted to disappear when I reached 40 because I thought life would no longer have any meaning. Only now do I fully grasp the meaning of my own words, I need to be involved in projects, to create, “to give birth to” children, books, exhibitions, ideas….
When I realized my son Gabriele was starting to grow up, I wondered what new project I could throw myself into to keep on living. I needed a new big project, an important dream, something huge before regret and remorse took over. The only solution was a change of life, new roads and modern day technology allow us to be at the center of the world no matter where we are. I was tempted to leave this country but deep down we still believe in Italy and so decided to stay. We decided not only to stay on but to go to live in the mountains and work hard to guarantee the happiness of other people who will come to our Bed&Breakfast.
I am a prime number, it is not a coincidence that I was born on December 23rd! I am always like a fish out of water. I am good at everything but I do not excel at anything. My name is Francesco and I am happy to live in the mountains.
I came as a surprise. I chose the family to live with when I was still up there in the sky: my Dad who used to fly close to me, my Mum who carried me for nine months full of joy and fear, my big brother who does not know sadness.
My name is Gabriele and I was born one day in September, not any day in September but the 8th, the same day Our Lady was born, she has always protected me and looked over me in testing times.