In Aosta Valley, at the end of 1800, villages were emptying and a lot of valdôtains decided to emigrate in the near France looking for work and fortune. From this village as well, the village of Argnod, many people left during these years. Among them, the young Sidonie, our great-grandma, to get away from a combined marriage and to look for fortune.
In Paris she found work and love. She got married there to Jean-Baptiste, a young guy from Aosta Valley too, emigrated from Fontainemore to the “Ville Lumière”. In the 1930 they came back to Sidonie’s house in Argnod, and they had been living there with the sons Emilio, born in Paris, and Enrico. It’s in this little village that the two brothers grew up dedicating themselves to agriculture and commerce.
All day long, beyond the terraces obtained from small plots of land where farmers cultivated the grape, there were chestnut trees, green in the summer and yellow and burnt brown tones in autumn when the chestnuts in their curls have fallen.
The restoration work of these homes began in 2016 and proved immediately an exciting challenge: the relatively short time since the houses were remained uninhabited, had failed to inflict irreversible damage to the small complex and the discover that a part of these structures was constructed on stones immediately appeared as an excellent omen of the life it resumes.
We have maintained the small internal road network that connects the structures, renewing the flooring. The names of the inner streets (liaou in our patois) recall the names of some streets of Paris: Rue Championnet and Avenue Saint Ouen, in the 18th Arrondissement, where Sidonie and Jean-Baptiste lived. Place du Magasin remembers the presence in this structure of an old grocery store where our mountagnards were supplied. Rue des Mulets is so called because here stopped the mules of the mountagnards who came to shop in the old shop.
It was decided to obtain homes and apartments equipped with all comforts, without changing the originality of the interior spaces. Another choice was to restore and maintain the original ceilings with the use of innovative techniques, combining materials such as iron and wood. Particular attention has been paid to the study, design and construction of heating, thermal insulation and energy saving systems. The central heating is fossil fuel free, we have in fact installed a central large pellet boiler, so you can verify all the data of each individual apartment, while respecting the environment.
We then heat the entire Bhotanica structure with pellets that are fed into the large thermal power implant through automatic systems, while in summer it is the sun that produces energy through solar systems.
The whole structure has a WiFi network for our customers and modern smart TV.