Unfortunately Italy has very few fixed disc golf courses. We talked with Stella Galeotti of the Fattoria di Pietrabuona to better understand how her “Tuscany disc golf” course was born.
I: Stella you run a farm offering accommodation (agriturismo) between Florence and Lucca, Could you describe it briefly?
S: The Fattoria di Pietrabuona has always belonged to the Galeotti Flori family. It is located in the municipality of Pescia, at the beginning of the Valleriana in the territory of the “Svizzera pesciatina”. I have been dealing with this farm for several years, working with agriculture as far as permitted by these lands, where automation can not give any support. The presence of 7 farmhouses allowed me to use them for agritourism, complementary to agriculture, but fundamental to the company’s budget.
I: Tuscant disc golf at Fattoria di Pietrabuona is the only private golf course in Italy linked to an accommodation facility. How did you become interested in disc golf (which still so little known in Italy) ?
S: I met Renita Cameron in charge of Disc Golf Italia at a sports conference, and I immediately found her proposal very interesting. I think disc golf is an ideal sport for farms with farm holidays: it is something extra that we can offer to our guests, increase our visibility on the internet and allow us to make the best use of spaces and crops. The Tuscany disc golf course is in fact part of an olive grove, which must be kept clear, and partly in the woods, which supplies firewood for fireplaces and more. For this reason I have supported the adoption of this sport in other farms. I call it an “agricultural” sport in the sense that it does not take away land from our core business.
I: Is this initiative giving you satisfaction? Who comes to play in the “Tuscany disc golf” course and what do your guests say about your 9-hole course? What are its strong points?
S: I have had a lot of players from the United States and North Europe, in Italy for a vacation. Everyone was enthusiastic about both the course (despite being tired because of it) and the location where they found accommodation and the availability of local quality products. I think I have the opportunity to improve interest in the course, publicizing it in Northern Europe where the season is shorter for climatic issues, and to the Italians who are finally beginning to be interested
I: Is it true that access to the course is free for your guests?
S: Of course it is free for our guests but so far it has been, and I think I will continue with this policy, as well as for all those who have asked me to just come and play.
I: In thanking you for the interview and, above all, believing and investing in this discipline we love, I ask you one last question: what would you say to a Local Authorities or another tourist entrepreneur like yourself who is interested in creating a disc golf course?
S: Unfortunately, at the moment I do not have much confidence in proposing the disc golf to Local Authorities because I think maintenance is a very important element and not all of them can manage this, while for agritourism companies, as I have already said, the “marriage” can be winning.
Soon we will return to Pietrabuona to play the “Tuscany disc golf course” to offer a review from the point of view of the game; meanwhile references can be found on our “where to play” page.