Like being in an aquarium. No fish inside – only you. Alone or in a pair, relax on a comfortable chaise longue, with a small wood-burning stove to keep you warm. An aquarium inside out – you are the fish and outside there is a world that is watching you. A world made of trees, rocks, bushes, wild animals, and if you’re lucky a wolf. All surrounding your aquarium, the magnificent Valle del Cerreto, one of the most beautiful valleys of the Maiella. Abruzzo, Italy.
The aquarium has a name: Pine Cube; and a surname: where dreams are born. Pine Cube also has a mother, Francesca Consigli, and a father, William Santoleri. Francesca and William have believed strongly in the project, even against those who have opposed it and those who called it an impossible project – but perhaps this is a compliment.
The name was decided upon during a ride on the subway in New York. Its international calling was suggested by a full-page article in the Sunday Times back in 2012. It is a well-known and popular place, but necessarily excluded from mass tourism. “It is what it is, a box. Not repeatable, not expandable. The alternative would be a condominium”, William notes.
And in the land of Abruzzo, behind the times for centuries but in the foreground over the past few days due to its terrible snowfall and earthquakes, this small aquarium, with its solitude, seems to point the way. To lift one’s head up again through ingenious ideas, to not sell off one’s own land, to not lose that which is most valuable: a priceless wild nature.