Il Cucciolo

Agriturismo Il Cucciolo

This post is about a lovely 25-acre agriturismo in Italy called Il Cucciolo, which translates to “The Puppy”, but first I have to own up to the path that brought this place to my attention: the credit goes to my cat Ponyo. Yes, I said it, a cat. In the way that cats climb on bookshelves (and everything else), Ponyo knocked a book down that I had forgotten about. Crafty girl, it was a good suggestion. And that’s where I’ll begin.

I bought Philosophy Dog, The Art of Living with Man’s Best Friend by Breon O’Farrell many years ago in San Francisco at the now defunct Stacey’s Books on Market Street. It caught my eye because it’s beautiful and the topic is dogs. It’s loaded with great photography and typography, oh and it’s about dog training but clearly that facet was lost on me and mine. Maybe Ponyo was giving us a suggestion.

Philosophy Dog by Breon O'Farrell


Pages from Philosophy Dog by Breon O'Farrell

While becoming reacquainted with this book, I discovered that Breon O’Farrell had been a successful dog trainer in New York with talented dog-loving clients and friends like photographer Bruce Weber (which comes in handy when you’re putting a book together). Then I found that Mr. O’Farrell along with his Italian-born wife and kids now operates a great little gem of an agriturismo in the heart of Perugia called Il Cucciolo. You can take your dogs on holiday there for fun and training, with classes taught by Breon O’Farrell himself.

Breon O'Farrell and dogs at Il Cucciolo

I haven’t visited Il Cucciolo yet, but I sure plan to get there one day. I’m smitten by the whole idea of this place. Most of my trips to Italy (okay, pretty much all of them) are for business and I’m primarily up in the north, but I would love to venture down to Il Cucciolo, and why not? Cooking classes, mushroom and truffle hunting, yoga, hikes in the hills, hanging out with dogs! I’m there. Beautiful.

Il Cucciolo Agriturismo

I think Mr. O’Farrell had the right idea to leave the crowded city for a gorgeous place like this. I’m willing to bet there are quite a few people daydreaming of a life like this right about now. If that’s true and this post inspires someone somewhere to make a big life change, it can all be traced back to Ponyo’s bookshelf climb that day. Crafty girl.

If you’d like to contact Il Cucciolo, you can visit their website here. You can also check out their Facebook page with more photos and info here.

Other contact information:
Agriturismo Il Cucciolo, Vocabolo Figlino n. 31, Petrelle, 06010 Città di Castello (PG)
Tel/Fax: (From USA 011-39)-0758504138, (From Europe 0039)-0758504138
Cell.: (From USA 011-39)-3331877849, (From Europe 0039)-3331877849


Agriturismo photos: courtesy and property of Il Cucciolo

Erica Preo is CEO & Creative Director of Pantofola, pure luxury Italian goods for dogs.


Typographic Tuesday: Milan Kundera

Quote by Milan Kundera

For Typographic Tuesday I chose this quote by Milan Kundera because, well, it’s wonderful. But also because for me it conjures up thoughts and sensations of pleasant springtime weather, which I must say is a little slow showing up this year. So if you’re somewhere that’s a little too chilly for the end of March, read the quote and close your eyes, and escape to Eden with a dog at your side for a few peaceful minutes. And breathe.

Put Your Pencils Down

Well, it’s that time of year. Stomachs in knots, heads pounding, biting of nails. That stressful, anxiety-ridden period full of late nights, giant coffees and panic in general. I’m not talking about the holidays, this is something entirely different…(cue the scary music)…it’s the dreaded end of semester exams (and now the screams). Actually, since I attended design school rather than traditional college, it would instead be…the dreaded end of semester critiques…the horrors!

It looks like at least one school has a great plan in place this week to help students cope: dogs on campus to provide a stress-relieving break, of course. Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia has arranged a doggy lineup that includes the following cast of characters: a Labradoodle, a Sheltie, a Golden Retriever, a Papillon, a St. Bernard and a Dalmatian, courtesy of the Therapeutic Paws for Canada program. Very clever idea! They’re helping to make them smarter, too!

Visit the Puppy Room posterStudents and dogs during a break

Lola at Yoga

Here’s a great example of dogs making something better. When I joined my yoga group a few years back, I was so happy on my first day to see that the instructor brings her dog to every session. Most people already know that yoga is great for reducing stress and increasing relaxation & focused breathing, but add a lazy snoozy Lab and that benefit skyrockets! You can’t help but relax. The first dog that came to class was Yogi, an older black Lab that passed away last year from cancer. Oddly enough, as soon as that sad event happened Lola transitioned from Yogi’s goofy sidekick to Miss Namaste practically overnight. Now she yawns and naps and breathes, rising only at the end of our session for her own “down dog” (because what else would she do, right?). After that she makes a beeline for me because she knows I bring her a few biscuits and she munches away while I roll up my mat. We’ll always miss you Yogi, but we know you’re very proud of your understudy. Viva Lola!