"Redeem the land" to produce new resources. This was the motivation that in 1922 prompted a group of friends to take over the property stretching from the castle of Capalbio to the sea - at the time an inhospitable swampy area - and found Terre di Sacra. The motivation was so strong that it became the name at the time: Società Anonima Capalbio Redenta Agricola (S.A.C.R.A. or Capalbio Redeemed Farmland Limited Company).
"Redeemed" because that word fully expressed the program to be implemented: redeeming the area around Lake Burano with modern land reclamation, draining the swamps and destroying malarial outbreaks. Subsequently, with land improvement of the area, Capalbio would become an agricultural-livestock centre of the first order.
The exciting challenge, promising satisfaction, was also launched to demonstrate to national authorities Lombardy’s agricultural entrepreneurial skills. Enlightened men were part of that group, representing the finest Italian entrepreneurship, whose greatest exponent was Adriano Olivetti. They were not merely owners, but partners, who have always worked for the socio-economic progress of the estate and its people.
The story of the Terre di Sacra is based on reclaiming land from the swamp, and the economic and social achievements of its workers. It is the recognition of their rights as workers and their progress from labourers to settlers. It is the building of canals and wells, but also of roads and power lines. Of houses, country homes and schools. It is the story of livestock and wheat, of tradition and innovation. It is the story of war and reconstruction. Painful expropriation - as a result of the Great Agrarian Reform - but also the willingness to pursue their own values on the land that remained. From the Capalbio estate to the Burano farm.
It is the story of men like Pietro Pirelli, who after the war succeeded in securing the unobtainable for his people; and Uberto Resta Pallavicino, considered "a local" by virtue of his contribution and his daily example of engaging fully in life of the Estate.
Men who love the land. This feeling has lasted nearly a century, as the Estate has defended its agricultural mission from attempts to alter it by extracting raw materials, peat and magnetite. It safeguards its work, as well as the surrounding natural environment. It honours and preserves agriculture and nature, resisting the lure of industry and mining. This moral principle - under the guidance of Ambrogio Puri – led to partnership with WWF in 1968 to set up the Lake Burano Natural Oasis, the first in Italy. Even to the detriment of the prestigious Maremma hunting tradition.
This land’s path has been long and arduous. In 1922 Terre di Sacra was a marsh. Thanks to draining and land improvement and the labour of its workers, it has been transformed into today's beautiful garden, prized both in the Burano Oasis and on the surrounding farm. These two natural realities are and will continue to be a credit to Capalbio and the Maremma for a long time to come.