The 2024 season is about to open and the biggest news will be a passing of the baton. Il Cucciolo continues its history of welcoming those who choose a holiday in the Upper Tiber Valley with their four-legged friends, but ‘Breon and Marta, Marta and Breon’, the creators of a place that has now an almost twenty-year history, will no longer be welcoming you. We entrust the management to a couple who we consider special for the history of this place: Mara Cazzulani and Matteo Tomaselli.

Breon O’Farrell will however be available as a trainer, with his school supporting all dog activities, especially for behaviourist consultancy, based on his thirty years of experience and his American Method. Mara and Matteo will instead be the reference figures, from the first contacts for booking, to the reception, to the breakfast or tasting dinner services, to the maintenance and improvement of the structure so that it respects the standards of a place now known and considered to be at the top for holidays in the company of your dogs. They will also dedicate themselves to the agricultural company, the fields, the woods, the vegetable garden and the production of jams and more.

A bit of history deserves to be told regarding this beautiful transition. Since the Covid years, we have suffered some setbacks, rethinking a life choice that has totally absorbed us since that distant 2005, when we moved to a place that belonged to my family, but which had to be designed and built in response to a dream of ours . Lives change. And my nature as a researcher, in physics and in words, pushed me with COVID to return to the roots of my education: physics, mathematics, scientific dissemination and the discovery of a desire to get involved with teaching in high school. This vocation, discovered almost by chance, led me to enter the world of school, to fall in love with it, to do everything to get into the role. They were years of transition, with ‘feet in various stirrups’, as they would say in times gone by, balancing on various tightropes, like the tightrope walker I felt I was in various phases of my life. Perhaps some of our historic guests, who have continued to return and support us, will have felt the impact of a change, which has unfortunately penalised many of the services that were linked to my work, to my person. For, those who have been following us for years, and want to return on holiday, I would like to say that Mara and Matteo are the people I was looking for with my heart and mind, so that Il Cucciolo would once again become the place that Breon and I strongly wanted build. A place where you can feel at home, meet people with whom you can sit around a table and find yourself chatting and establishing valuable relationships that are destined to last over time. A place where your dogs feel welcomed, where they can share their animal stories, organise group walks, exchange traditions and cultures with a view to the diversity of the animal world being an example for accepting and valuing human diversity.

Mara and Matteo arrived at “Il Cucciolo” as guests, with their adorable and beloved dogs, and fell in love with something that you can recognise by already having it in your heart. They organised their wedding at “Il Cucciolo”, just before the Covid years. Then, being from Bergamo, they found themselves facing the pandemic on the front line. As for many, as perhaps for everyone, 2020 changed their vision of life, of the world, and led them to choose not to wait any longer before dedicating themselves to the dream of their life together. A bit like Breon and me, when we arrived in Umbria from New York, with the awareness that some leaps in the dark cannot be postponed indefinitely. From this synchronicity of intent was born a dialogue, at times interrupted, on the possibility of a transition, which I can now happily announce.

Mara and Matteo will be the voice on the phone when you call to book, they will be the words via email, they will be the management and care, they will be the ‘hosts’ to whom you refer for everything that your holiday at “Il Cucciolo” will be. It could happen that I am passing through, that you see me swimming in the pool in the summer, that I am on holiday in the house that I maintain, with my children who are now grown up but have grown up in this place and are often also involved in the family organisation. But I will no longer be the one to take care of the company and the farm. Instead, Breon O’Farrell will always take care of your dogs and the relationship between you and them, if you want to meet and get to know him.

I hope and wish Mara and Matteo a great spring opening of the season. And I sincerely thank all those who have known us over many years, created the word of mouth effect, believed in us, in our project, as Mara and Matteo did, so much so that they are now in charge!