When the dream becomes reality
I have traveled throughout the Sahara for over thirty years working as a guide. I have even been a driver on the Paris-Dakar race. My love for Africa started when I was eighteen after my father brought me along with him to the Bokassa’ coronation. We left Milan by Land Rover to Bangui, crossing the Sahara on what was to become a life changing adventure. From my journeys throughout Saharan Africa and the Sahel over the decades, I forged many friendships with various European tour operators.
In Milan, I founded a travel agency called “Drive Out Viaggi”, but it was not until 2005 that I decided to actually settle in a North African country. My choice was overwhelmingly Morocco, which has the benefit of being a very welcoming and relaxed country compared to all the others I had visited throughout the years. I immediately felt at home and in the beauty of the surrounding nature, I found a quality of life I had not enjoyed anywhere else I had ever been.
Fate (“Maktub” as the locals say, meaning “it is written”) brought me to Sarah who became my wife. We now have a daughter, Allia.
With Sarah, we started this great adventure of restoring an abandoned property located on the outskirts of Marrakech, which would soon become the beautiful oasis it is now – Jnane Allia.
Our plans were always conceived so as to cause the least amount of impact on the environment by using traditional materials from the region since the materials used for construction in the old days were resolutely eco friendly and we aspired to do this without compromising the contemporary appeal of having unobstructed sight lines to the out doors and large open spaces.
Many friends through their generosity and special talents have supported us in achieving this bold dream. I take this opportunity to list them all:
- GIORGIO MARTINO, the architect with whom I conceived the outline of the initial project,
- MARCO DONIZELLI, the architect who developed the majority of the project,
- LUCIANO DONZELLI, “the traveling electrician”,
- ISCHAM EL MADI, the Artisan Designer (as he defines himself) and great neighbor,
- PAOLO GANDOLA, photographer and stage director,
- ALESSANDRA CASSINELLI, artist,
- EUGENIO BIANCHINI, “Plumbing wizard”,
- ROBERTO RICEVUTI et MARCO FEDELI, graphic and web designers,
- MASSIMO FERRARI, photographer,
- CARYL G., the only “Banker Web Designer”.