The Ortolo Valley, as on the first morning of the world
La Vallée de Ortolo (Ortolo Valley) is said to be the essence of the first Eden. Grottoes, water-springs, game... The cavemen were not mistaken when they came to settle in the valley. The vestiges of Cauria, enigmatic stone statuary, bears witness to their presence here.Cattle and sheep farming is not new in the valley as it started to develop back in the 16th century. This period marked the beginning of a livestock-farming era in the region. Shepherds started to settle in the valley. Perched on rocks or on the Genoese tower, they would watch over their herds and cattle, while keeping a close watch on the sea as, at the time, it could bring many dangers. The Lion of Roccapina has seen a lot too. The mountains witnessed, amongst other things, how the Tasmania was ship-wrecked against the reef of the Moînes islands in April 1887, and how the local shepherds offered hospitality to the survivors. A legend says that, following the ship-wreck, a bandit stole a jewellery box intended for Queen Victoria and hid it in a grotto. Some people are still looking for the legendary lost treasure in Roccapina!
But the real treasure is Murtoli, a piece of art made not by a god but by the hand of man.
The hand of a heir, brave and bold who, in 1994, combined the noble work of livestock farming and hospitality to breath new life into Murtoli. A true resurrection! Where there used to be stone ruins, now defiantly stand dwellings, happy hideaways. In the valley, the cows of the Domaine are back to their grazing. Mastic trees and holm oaks have spread. The olive trees are now shaping the valley and the fields proudly display promising crops.
Not only has the local heritage been preserved, but it also becomes richer everyday.