Ciao! We are a group of non-profit volunteers in Quartiere Pianello, a small neighborhood in the village of Montalcino, Tuscany. After the desolation of World War II our elders looked back to the 1400's and took up the challenge to preserve traditions and culture so that the identity of being 'Montalcinesi' would never be lost. We pass precious values down through the generations with all the strength we've got, nurturing children and young people, giving them a sense of belonging, self worth, dignity and value.
We purchased from the Curia, and for ten years we worked to restore our 1,000 year old crumbling medieval church. In a decade of unrelenting work, every cent we raised went towards restoring this jewel, and we got the job done. In those years of church fundraising, conditions in headquarters deteriorated, especially in our kitchen, to our gorgeous Renaissance costumes and to our 3 wheeler Ape. We need you to help get Quartiere Pianello back on track so we can continue fundraising, guiding our kids, creating a way of life for the future, and teaching them to preserve the past.
Our goal is to raise US$16,800. Budget details below.
Any funds raised above US$16,800 will go towards realizing a dream goal. We are battling to save a ruined Secret Garden from becoming a concrete car park. We are standing up and fighting against more concrete in our village, and as activists, we are saying NO to a dreaded plan. Say NO along with us, to concrete, become part of our team, an activist, and donate for our perks. We'll beat a path to the Mayor's desk and stop this madness before it is too late. Another dream is to restore a 1659 Mannerist painting in our church. These two dreams are hopes and prayers, but with your help we can stop a magical garden becoming a concrete jungle! Say NO, along with us, become part of our team, an activist, and donate for our perks so we can buy that darned garden and keep it green forever!
Lorenzo's Blue Shoes & Renaissance Costume Repairs - US$5,500.00
At festivals, members of Quartiere Pianello parade through the village in replicas of historic costumes of the 1400's. This is pretty Dame Martina and handsome Knight Silvano in costume in a historic parade. Little kids can't wait until they are old enough to wear Pianello colors but some of our costumes need crucial remedial needlework. At the last festival 8 year old Lorenzo paraded all weekend, plodding along in pointy blue shoes 5 sizes too big! It would be wonderful to have new costumes, but they are very expensive. We need to repair the costumes we have, which mean so much to us because we've all worn them! See Lorenzo in the video! We so need to buy Lorenzo a new pair of blue shoes!
Kitchen - US$4,100.00
The kitchen is the pivotal heart of Quartiere Pianello around which all of our fundraising revolves. Many of our women, like nearly-90-Onelia in the photo, have been volunteer cooks all their lives, and our younger women are stepping into their shoes. Maria Teresa used to bring her school kids for cookery lessons, but our kitchen is dangerous and we cannot let the kids come any more. We need to renew the gas connection and pull out a Neanderthal stove. Without the kitchen, life in Quartiere Pianello will grind to a halt and future fundraising will be impossible. You can donate for our just printed Cook Book stuffed with more than 80 recipes from Tuscany, traditional and modern. You can even donate to have a Tuscan dinner party in your own home and, on proof of age, we'll bring the Brunello! How good is that?
An Exhausted Three Wheeler Ape & Banners - US$3,900.00
Our old 3 wheeler Ape refused to go any more, loaded down with trestle tables and benches to fundraising events. Francesco our President was in our Ape the day it died! We shed a few tears when our faithful little Ape was loaded onto a truck to go to the scrap heap in the sky! Last festival, without our Ape, teenagers carried dozens of street banners and a long ladder all over our neighborhood at midnight, raising the blue and white banners under which we battle for the honor of our Quartiere at archery tournaments, which is how we show the pride in our hearts for our neighborhood.Some of our street banners are looking pretty tatty. Can you help us buy a decent second-hand Ape and renew the worst of our banners?
Archery - US$3,300.00
Outside the village walls, in a splendid Brunello vineyard, our archers train at Pianello private archery range. We long for a generator to light up the range, and the generator would have to be housed in a shed. Having the range lit at night will be an advantage to archers who shoulder the responsibility for Pianello at archery tournaments, like Samuele, second from bottom, who is about to defend our honor, shooting 40 arrows in half an hour. We'd like Samuele, Cosimo, Massimo and the others to be able to see the wild boar effigy on the practice range! Little Lorenzo with the big blue shoes is a junior archer! Look at the passion on his face! Donate for a generator and shed, and we offer you the chance to join our archers on our archery range.
Any funds raised above US$16,800.00 will go towards realizing Pianello dreams:
1st Dream - Saving the Secret Garden from Concrete - US$47,000.00
Imagine a tangled garden with loaded fruit trees, thistles climbing the wall, un-pruned olive trees and a barely distinguishable garden. A dreaded plan threatens to turn this garden into a concrete car park and we are fighting against that horrid plan because the Secret Garden is enclosed by a wall of our 1,000 year old Church of San Pietro, just restored. That's one wall of our church in the photo and you are peeping over part of the old stone wall. Your action and donation will mean we can save the garden! We'll build an archery range for little kids like Lorenzo - and the school kids could use our range. We'll hold dinners, weddings, pizza nights and grow our own herbs. Will you stand up, along with us, and say NO to more concrete and the loss of a mystical green garden? It will be a moral victory to be proud of. And we can plant and name part of the garden after you or host your private event in the Secret Garden for up to 30 people, with food and music.
2nd Dream Goal - Restoring Mannerist Painting by Buonfiglio US$10,000
In the church of San Pietro, unless the sun shines on him, like the day we took this photo, it is hard to distinguish the figure of Saint Lawrence giving sight to a blind man because, since 1659, when Antonio Buonfiglio painted it, countless coats of varnish and hundreds of years of candle smoke and wax have rendered him all but invisible. Saving this precious work of art would be a true act of generosity. We have restored 3 magnificent art works in the church, and this is the last one! You can tell, as volunteers, we have long term plans and lots of work to do in our quartiere, our neighborhood, and village. Please join our Team!
At Quartiere Pianello it's not only about asking for money, it's about bringing you into our unique way of life that was handed down from our ancestors, giving you something precious, giving back precious things to our community, and it's about raising your voice, being activated enough to fight against things that are wrong. The rewards are enormous! You can become an Honorary Member of Quartiere Pianello, visit if and when you can and be part of an enviable way of life, helping us preserve it for our children, our neighborhood and this glorious village in the hills of Tuscany.
Thanks for reading through to the end, email Isabella with any questions and please, don't forget to tell your friends, all over the world, and see photos of our perks below.
Quartiere Pianello Montalcino, Tuscany
Francesco Ripaccioli - President
Lorenzo Faneschi - Vice President
Lisa Annicchiarico - Events Manager; Italy/Canada
Stefania Platini - Head of Kitchen
Isabella Dusi - Campaign Creator/Coordinator
To contact Isabella: email@example.com
Isabella's website: Vanilla Beans and Brodo
Michele Becci - US Campaign Coordinator - Our Italian Table
National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) - Campaign Supporter
Pamela Haack - USA/Italy - Off The Beaten Strada
Karen Mills - USA/Florence - An American in Italy
Saskia Peterzon - Netherlands Translator
Kate St. James - Editor & Tour Leader Australia
Deb Keith - USA - Deb's Recipe a Day