History of the group
Over a hundred years ago (in 1895) the association “Naturfreunde Internationale” was established in Vienna with the aim of enabling its members to travel and get to know foreign places and peoples. Based on the same philosophy of green tourism – sustainable and accessible for everybody – the local group Gran Pino in Cecina, was the first Naturefriend group established in Italy. This happened thanks also to the work carried out earlier by the founding members themselves within the French association “Léo Lagrange”, a federation that has arranged holidays throughout Europe for factory workers since the 1930s. The support of the International Naturefriends was then crucial to start the project of the Italian Naturefriends (GIAN) – the first GIAN national congress was thus held in February 1979, with the participation of the first three local groups, namely Cecina, Volterra and Brescia.
Activities carried out
Here are just some of the activities organized by our G.I.A.N. local group:
- Dinners prepared by the members for the members, together with cultural events – one example is the Etruscan Dinner, followed by a conference on the Etruscan civilization.
- Excursions throughout the year to major towns of culture in Tuscany and central Italy, e.g. Tarquinia, Saturnia, Siena, Suvereto, Volterra, San Gimignano, etc.
- Helix-shaped synergistic garden, created by our member Pierluigi Nencioni at the Gran Pino house. Seminars are currently scheduled to guide you through the features of this ancient cultivation, re-discovered by a Japanese agronomist and later developed by Emilia Hazelip. Synergistic gardening method is especially carried out in the centre “Las Encantadas”, in the Pyrenees, France.
- Evenings in music. Recently we enjoyed the performance of a German jazz band – over a hundred people attended the event.
- Olive picking, clearing of the park, sawing and maintenance of the synergistic garden.
- Bingo events, organized to entertain our members while raising funds to implement the services offered by our local group such as the playground and the photovoltaic installation.
- Activities aimed at discovering and identifying wild aromatic and healing herbs such as sagebrush, thyme, horse mint, helichrysum, hypericum, fennel; workshops on their use to produce essential oils and natural digestive beverages.