It is not just a magical place, a tale of incredible stories, the irresistible charm of the undiscovered Morocco. It is a journey that transforms you in a profound way, that slows time down, lights up the colours and brings emotions to the surface. On the wild, sun-drenched and wind-swept Larache coast, with its deserted beaches and unexpected bays, its dunes opening towards the Ocean and its uncontaminated natural spots, La Fiermontina Ocean has a magnetic energy. Here the journey becomes a rebirth and the true luxury is to be part of a respectful and supportive kind of hospitality, that wants to protect the human and natural landscapes and give hope to the people of the forgotten villages of Dchier, Tcharouah e Mezgalef.
An encounter between different cultures, millenary traditions and cosmopolitan suggestions created 70 years ago a bridge of peace between the East and the West, which then led to the birth of La Fiermontina Ocean. The family story of siblings Fouad Giacomo and Antonia Yasmina Filali is a gripping one: it begins in Italy and travels to France with their maternal grandmother, then continues to Morocco, the country of origin of their paternal grandfather. In 1955 Antonia Fiermonte, a catholic painter and violinist, meets in Fes the cadi Thami Filali, the father of her daughter Anne’s husband Abdellatif. A judge of the Islamic Law and one of the most respected men in town, he welcomes her with a great public celebration. The artist and the cadi, albeit from two very different worlds, gave proof of great tolerance and paved the way for their grandchildren’s future journey, which started with the birth of the Orient-Occident Foundation, created with the aim to facilitate intercultural dialogue and integration.
La Fiermontina Ocean is an extraordinary hôtellerie project, which has enhanced hidden and forgotten corners of the North-West of Morocco whilst protecting the authenticity of the territory and of the local rural communities through an important project of community development. Nestled in an unspoilt scenery, the charming one, two or three-bedroom villas are well integrated in nature, clad in local stone, with delightful private gardens sometimes carved in the rock. All feature large panoramic windows and a pool on the Ocean-facing terrace. About one kilometre away, it is possible to experience something unique: a stay in one of the three stone houses built with ancestral techniques in the small village of Dchier, with views over a green valley. The village also accommodates the Hamman and the Cadi’s House.
Eleven villas measuring between 70 and 119 square metres, with one or two bedrooms, featuring Taza stone floors as well as traditional Moroccan rugs and furnishings. The villas are awash with sunlight thanks to the large windows offering splendid views of the dune and of the terrace pool against the Ocean’s backdrop.
Special 300-square metre residences, with three bedrooms, a kitchen and personalised staff service. A place where one can find tranquillity and inspiration, featuring panoramic windows, local art collections, artisan pieces, Berber rugs and an immense infinity pool to relax in, surrounded by nature.
Three houses between 120 and 180 square metres in size, completely built in stone using ancient techniques, comprising one or two bedrooms and a small kitchen. A beautiful interplay of light and shadow between the interior and the exterior enhances the warm colours, sofas and colourful floor rugs from Marrakesh or the Atlas mountains, featuring traditional designs. Antique doors, leather poufs with Arabic embroideries, lanterns, and a view that fills the heart.
Besides the intimate atmosphere and the scenic views, the restaurant offers the best of both Italian and traditional Maroccan cuisine, a trove of genuine flavours preserved by the small local cooperatives. Land-to-table produce, artisan goods, clothes and accessories by Migrants du Monde – handcrafted in the Orient-Occident Foundation’s workshops in Rabat – are sold in the Boutique next door. A 200 square metre conference room is also available for meetings. The Beach Club on the private beach is perfectly in tune with the environment: white drapes, bamboo tables, fishing creels as lampshades, grilled fish and typical salads for lunch.
La Fiermontina Ocean gives travelling new meaning by promoting a form of sustainable tourism which respects the territory and enriches it economically and culturally. It promotes direct interaction with the landscape and its inhabitants in order to discover the local flora and fauna, the organic land-to-table produce but also the local culture and traditions. How does it do it in real terms? With two beautiful initiatives: one is the creation of the “ Dunes of Kkmiss Sahl” Regional Natural Park, aimed at preserving the eco-system through the reforestation of an area of 10 hectars with olive and fruit trees. It also aims to protect the sand dune of Sahel and the coastal dunes, threatened by careless human behaviour. The second initiative is the important community development project conceived by Fouad Giacomo Filali and carried out in partnership with the Orient-Occident Foundation and the local authorities. The project’s goal is to improve people’s difficult living conditions in some small, forgotten rural villages like Dchier, Mezgalef and Tcharouah, lacking in resources and at risk of being abandoned. Alongside some emergency interventions, the project has also been providing education, training and support, thus promoting the creation of women’s and farming cooperatives, the birth of sustainable farming initiatives, and the development of a form of tourism based on social and solidarity economy.
La Fiermontina Ocean offers authentic and active holidays, with walks along golden beaches at sunset and the discovery of rural villages where one can join in the daily activities and feel part of the local community. Some families welcome the travellers like old friends, prepare traditional dishes and invite them for breakfast, in a triumph of colours , smells and flavours. It is the perfect place for romantics, nature lovers, lone travellers and sporty types. Horseback excursions on dirt tracks through the woods and the olive groves all the way to the sea, but also surfing lessons for the little ones so they can learn to ride the waves. One can chose between yoga sessions and afternoons in the Hammam to relax body and mind with an Argan oil massage. And the more inquisitive types will enjoy getting lost in the alleyways of the medinas, fragrant with spices, or in the lively souks.
It is at the heart of La Fiermontina Ocean, perfect for the curious travellers who seek out original places and love to immerse themselves in nature. It is a House Museum in the village of Dchier, a reproduction that Fouad Giacomo and Antonia Yasmina Filali have dedicated to their paternal grandfather, the cadi Thami Filali, a judge of the Islamic law, in order to tell his story. His bedroom is there, the sitting room with the fireplace, his desk, the historical family photos from the 1930’s, the 1940’s phone and a beautiful collection of antique jewellery. In the kitchen, cooking classes are held teaching how to prepare traditional dishes, while oil and wheat are kept in terracotta jars in the cellar. The tour ends in the beautiful Andalusian garden.
A trip to Morocco tastes of ancient history and age-old emotions. It has the flavour of archaeology and of all of the different populations who have travelled through this land: from the Berbers to the Phoenicians, from the Carthaginians to the Romans, from the Byzantines to the Arabs. There are so many picturesque places to discover from North to South: the Atlas mountains, the jagged coasts of the Mediterranean, the luxuriant palm groves, the fertile valleys of Argan, the unreal silence of the Sahara dunes, the imperial cities with their refined riads, their fascinating medinas and the colourful souks, like Rabat with its elegant historical centre encrusted with domes, minarets and terraces – just one and a half hours away from La Fiermontina Ocean – or, three hours away, the caleidoscopic Marrakesh…but also Fes, a spiritual and cultural centre, with its Souk of the Dyers, and Meknes, the city of a hundred minarets, and the nearby Roman site of Volubilis.
And then there is the little-known Morocco, like the province of Larache in the North-West, with Tangiers, the cosmopolitan city loved by English poets, which deserves to be discovered in the company of a writer and that reveals its most secret spots, as suggested by La Fiermontina Ocean. It is beautiful to lose oneself in Asilah’s picturesque kasbah overlooking the Ocean, and in the summer to attend the Asilah Art Festival, with artists coming from all over the world to paint murals on the city’s walls. The sunset from the not so easy to reach beach of Las Cuevas is spectacular, as is the unique Cromlech of M’soura, a megalitic monument featuring 170 dolmens surrounding a tomb. A few kilometres from Larache lies the Archaeological Park of Lixus, one of the most ancient cities in Northern Africa (XII century b. C.), where the precious garum (fish sauce) was produced in Roman times. About 40 kilometres away, the small fishing village of Moulay Bousselham offers magnificent beaches, large dunes and the Laguna de Merja Zerga natural reserve, kingdom of the flamingoes and of various colonies of wild birds and animals, perfect for some birdwatching.
Created in Morocco in 1994 by Yasmina Filali, the Fondation Orient-Occident (FOO) is a family-run non-profit organization recognized as being of public utility and conceived as a bridge between the two shores of the Mediterranean. Its mission is to be close to migrants, refugees and young Moroccans from disadvantaged neighborhoods, offering them social and psychological support through education and employment in socio-educational and vocational training centres. Present nowadays in Rabat, Oujda, Casablanca, Marrakech, Tangier, Fes and Larache as well as in Italy, the Foundation has developed an original approach to migration, and has received numerous international accolades.Thanks to its welcome centres, which also provide counselling and training, it accompanies migrants wishing to permanently return to their countries of origin and it promotes better integration for those resident in Morocco. Furthermore, it has acquired remarkable expertise in implementing new community development projects in rural areas, aimed at improving the lives of the locals from a holistic point of view. Migrants du Monde is the trademark of the sewing and embroidery workshop present in Rabat since 2010, which supports the integration of migrant and refugee women into Moroccan society.
It originated from the strong desire of the Filali siblings to revisit the places that are important to their family, in the footsteps of their grandmother Antonia and of their granduncle Enzo Fiermonte, from their native Puglia (Italy) to Paris and then to Morocco. Four unique residences which promote the idea of travel as an enriching experience, a form of virtuous cultural exchange, which in turn gives rise to a new culture of respect, listening and dialogue.
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