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Historically, it was the Romans who first praised otium, or idleness as a state of being. Contrary to popular belief, idleness in ancient times was not a lazy or empty moment but was quite the opposite – the most elevated condition in human nature, a time to abandon the governance of material things and dedicate oneself to thought and philosophy.
To better appreciate a break from the business of Rome and to escape the dust and the tensions of the city, Roman patricians took refuge in their splendid country villas. The evolution of life in these villas eventually led to life as we know it on modern day farms. Each villa produced grapes that would become wine to enjoy in the city and olives to fill amphoras with oil for the seasons to come.
When the first rooster crowed, a new day began. The loyal dog wagged its tail when the master returned and the cat roamed the gardens looking for prey. Clad in their white robes and surrounded by rows of grape vines and olive groves, the patricians relished the peaceful rhythm of country life, if only for a few days. They savored bunches of small white grapes and rode over the surrounding high ground on the most agile of horses as the setting sun painted the sky a ruby red.