Il Tempo delle Mele

My Farmhouse, your home

“There’s a whole culture surrounding apples, a tradition that’s been passed down. You really get a sense of people’s passion when you walk into an orchard and breath in the sweet scent of apples that makes your mouth water…”.

That’s the very scent you smell as soon as you cross the threshold of the Il Tempo delle Mele Farmhouse, lingering in every room and blending with the steam to entrance visitors in the wellness zone. It’s a fragrance that’s difficult to put your finger on right away: there’s the tart bite of the peel and a mellow hint of pollen and honey. A light fragrance that wraps itself around you and stays with you, like a warm caress. A fragrance reminiscent of childhood, with all the warmth of joy in later life too. It’s a complex fragrance, thanks to the volatile substances that apples disperse into the air: polyphenols, antioxidants and anticarcinogens, which can work on any fruit in the vicinity and cause it to ripen. It’s a fragrance that speaks of enormous well-being, one you could bask in for a lifetime and even longer, generation after generation. It cast its spell on Fabiana when she met Michele 23 years ago, and opened up a farmhouse where guests become members of the family, using it as their home as they venture out each day to learn about a land as extraordinary as its reputation.

Castel Caldes - APT Val di Sole - photo D. Andreis | © Castel Caldes - APT Val di Sole - photo D. Andreis

The Valley

Lower Val di Sole, like the nearby Val di Non, was once a land of fields and barns. At the end of the 19th century, unstoppable waves of disease struck the mulberry trees and vines that were the main crops at the time. Many families were forced to emigrate in search of new land and new lives, until some realised that an opportunity was right in front of them in the form of apples, which have always grown wild here. Apples transformed the face of the valley and saved it from abandonment.

Planting and irrigating the trees involved work to transform the land, but this is the natural habitat of apples, where they reign supreme. In Samoclevo, in the municipality of Caldes, young Michele also seized the opportunity represented by apples, as his family company abandoned their old pursuits and converted all their land into orchards. In 1989, the fruit-growers of Cles founded the Melinda Consortium and made it their centre of operations. Theirs became Italy’s first and only PDO apples.



“I chose the name Il Tempo delle Mele, or “Apple Time”, because I wanted to connect my husband’s work to my own. He loves his job just like I love mine, so I wanted to link them together. This way, everybody who enters our house will understand that around here, it’s apple time all year round. There’s the pruning season, the flowering season, the ripening season and finally the harvesting season. It’s a non-stop cycle of passion and experience”.

With her warm smile and tone of voice, Fabiana seems like a friend you’ve known all your life. She has generous nature, and a way of picking up on your mood and anticipating your desires. She describes her adopted land and her home with pride and enthusiasm, taking pleasure in the conversation. Volere è potere is her motto: where there’s a will, there’s a way. That’s what has enabled her to build a life by following her heart, always remaining true to herself and her thirst for adventure and exploration. You can see her personal touch everywhere: in the establishment she has built up, where everything is sustainable out of respect for the earth; in the care shown to each room out of respect for her guests; in the use of apples, from the peels to dishes given a fresh twist; and in her respect for the fruit and its properties, which she continues to study.


“Through apples, I discovered a whole new world”

“I was working at a bar in Tonale, in front of the ski slopes. When I met my husband, I had a choice to make, particularly because we had Daniel almost immediately. I was used to being surrounded by other people, and I’d spend a few months of the year travelling. That’s where the idea for the farmhouse came from. I enrolled in night classes and got a diploma in tourism, while Michele’s mother taught me to cook and to work the land. I come from a very poor rural family, but up where we lived nothing would grow. I knew about herbs, because ever since I was a child in my family home, everything that nature gave us was precious. We still forage a lot of plants now: bear radicchio, dandelion, campions, woodruff, milfoil and nettles”.

And, of course, apples. Fabiana makes everything with apples: juice, desserts, jellies, preserves, as well as carne salada, rice, roast meats, Alpine fish and all the products for the wellness area. Apples are used instead of stones for massages; in oils and creams; in a scrub with honey, yoghurt, almonds and walnuts that seems more like something you’d eat than something to rub into your body; and a heated cushion with marcomel, the leftover pulp from pressed apples. She also accompanies visitors into the orchards, along with Michele and Daniel, to prune, harvest, or simply breathe in the air. Sweet tango, Morgana, red-fleshed Kissabel, Golden and Stark apples are the varieties she produces. There’s even a mattress in the works that will harness the properties of apples…

Fabiana | © Archivio Trentino Mktg
Camere Agritur delle mele
Wellness | © Archivio Trentino Mktg
Raccolta mele | © Archivio Trentino Mktg

The experience

Il Tempo delle Mele is one of the Melinda Ambassador Farmhouses because it respects the principles of sustainability. It’s a starting point for exploring this land of apples, hearing tales of living and working here in the words of those who truly know apples. Visitors can immerse themselves in their beneficial properties even when they sleep, to start the day wrapped in wellness and for a complete tasting experience. Meals consist of traditional dishes, flavoured with herbs and apples, with the freshest produce the land has to offer. All served and explained with the proud smile of somebody offering and sharing a joyful experience.

“I was in Hong Kong many years ago, when I was 18 or 19, and I was refused entry to a restaurant because of my ripped jeans. That was when I promised myself that if I ever had a house, everybody would be welcome. My wellness area is open to families too, while the children stay with me. Sometimes we might even bake biscuits…”

Wellness mela | © Archivio Trentino Mktg

Il Tempo delle Mele

Published on 06/06/2023