FOR ALMOST 100 YEARS THE OSIO FAMILY
HAS BEEN COMMITTED TO SUSTAINING AGRICULTURE
WITH RESPECT FOR TRADITION AND THE COUNTRYSIDE.
It all began with Giorgio Santi, a famous professor at the University of Pisa in 1798 who, in his book, “The Journey to Monte Amiata” (Florence 1799), mentions having noticed the presence of pale red jasper, light green gabbro and dark serpentine boulders in the Calagrande forest. From the 1960s onwards, green rocks (ophiolites) aroused much interest due to the fact that these rock formations were also found on the expanding ocean floor.
This discovery was associated with the observation of magnetic bands parallel to the mid-Atlantic ridge, but with reversed polarity, which was interpreted in 1963 as evidence of the expansion of the ocean floor and continental drift. At Calagrande, compasses in proximity to the green rocks become erratic.
The flora here is typical of the Maremma bush: full of cisti, broom, rosemary, asphodel, wild lilies, mastic trees, myrtle, Ampelodesmos Mauritanicus (commonly known as “seracchio”), wild orchids, maritime pines, Aleppo pines, cypresses and holm oaks, and last but not least the rare fern, Phyllitis Sagittata, that loves to grow right on top of the green rocks.
The centuries-old Leccino, Frantoiano and Moraiolo olive trees seem to rise out of the sea and on windy mistral days are like silver waves. When cared for and loved, they reward you with a full-bodied and tasty oil.
The ancient terraces, retained by dry-stone walls, mainly accommodate the typical local grape vines, Ansonica, Malvasia, Aleatico, and Granascio, also known locally as “uva di Spagna”. The prized grapes are made into wine in the old, albeit modernised, cellar inside the red house.
Hortuli Hosiani, Calagrande.
THE CITRUS GROVE
Only a few steps away, between the sea and the forest, enclosed within ancient walls, as was the custom at Argentario, lies the citrus grove with its rare varieties of ornamental resin-scented grapefruit, fragrant mandarins, citron lemons, red, yellow and vanilla oranges.
A slender, yet perennial spring of fresh water flows out of the forest and collects in a quiet and limpid fishpond
THE HOLM OAK OF SISTER MARY MAGDALENE
Close to this spring, amidst the green rocks, there grows a monumental holm oak tree, under which, according to tradition, Caterina Sordini (1779-1824), later known as Sister Maria Magdalena of the Incarnation, used to pray. She was the founder, in Rome, of the Order of Contemplative Nuns of Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which still exists today. Sister Mary Magdalene was canonised by Pope Benedict XVI on 3 May 2008, and every year on the anniversary a pilgrimage of the faithful gathers from the village.
THE OSIO FAMILY'S COMMITMENT
The Osio family, now as then, is committed to keeping the Calagrande countryside intact, by sustaining the agricultural traditions of producing wine, oil and citrus fruit in harmony with nature.