La Pecora Nera is situated in a little hilltop village, Mazzolla, which is only 7 km away from the ancient town of Volterra; the surrounding territory, known as the Pisan hills, can be happily explored on horseback. It is an oasis of beauty and peace where sheep graze and wander freely; it extends between the Valdera Valley and the Cecina Valley, the latter covered with oak and olive trees and bounded by the famous Volterra crags, or “balze”. The whole area is indeed a paradise, with some of the finest architectural jewels of Tuscany close at hand: the town of San Gimignano can be reached in 15 minutes and in one hour one can get to the splendid Gothic Cistercian Abbey of San Galgano and to lovely Siena, to name just a few.
La Pecora Nera is, in the words of its creator Elisa, an “unconventional B&B; a romantic, tender place like no other”. Together with Giovanni, she welcomes their guests to their elegant, comfortable home and showers them with warmth and attentiveness, and small daily gestures of authentic care. La Pecora Nera was once the wing of an ancient convent, which was an integral part of the village of Mazzolla. The handsome stone building, its terrace and the surrounding garden have been lovingly restored by realizing Elisa’s original ideas and with the help of architect Gaia Vivaldi from Archmind Studio; the work has been carried out with great respect for the context to which the B&B relates: the village, the ancient area of Volterra, and Tuscany at large. Sustainable materials were used for the renovation project, from eco-friendly mortar, lime and paints, to reclaimed wood windows and doors; furniture and furnishings have been inventively designed and manufactured by local artisans who employed ancient materials, driftwood, and on one occasion even old books. This extraordinary décor mixes well with the exposed brickwork and beams. Breakfast at La Pecora Nera is a feast of food, prepared with organic ingredients, and delicious homemade cakes; the nearby Fattoria di Lischeto, a farm that is also run by Elisa and Giovanni, produces some outstanding organic cheeses, extra virgin olive oil and pasta that can be tried at tasting sessions held at the B&B, or sampled at the Fattoria restaurant. These products can also be bought and taken home; and for those who are especially interested in cheese making, the Lischeto Farm organizes workshops on demand.
The three rooms of La Pecora Nera have great character and great names: Frida, for example, takes inspiration from Frida Kahlo, the passionate Mexican artist, whereas Eve is dedicated to the first woman and is full of natural elements; and finally Eleonora, which is named after the historical figure of Eleonora d’Arborea and celebrates her determination and progressive ideas. They are spacious rooms with double beds and jacuzzi tubs with aromatherapy and chromotherapy options, and equipped with toiletries whose ingredients are organic (milk and olive oil) and have clearly been chosen with an eye to sustaining the environment too.