In the heart of charming romanian region of Transylvania, an old saxon property dating from the 18-th century was transformed into a lovely guest house, with old things kept and carefully restored but having all the comfort of the modern ages. At Convivium you will find a place to rest your mind and fill your heart with joy, homemade food, culinary experiences, charming trips in beautiful surroundings. And something more – a place where you can feel the authentic life of an old village, discover people, places and traditions, stories and heart of a land blessed by God and ennobled by its wonderful people.
I feel like running out of time while driving to Convivium – I know Transylvania for so many years yet it never stops amazing me with astonishing landscapes. Crit, the small village where the house is located, is 30 kilometers away from the citadel of Sighisoara – one of the most visited places in Transylvania.
Michaela Podolsky (62 years old) is a plastic artist and Convivium is a dream came true. She was born in Bucharest, but her grandmother was born near Brasov, a city located 80 kilometers from Crit. She fell in love with Sighisoara and the whole area during high school and plastic arts faculty, when she got to Sighisoara twice, for practice. Discovered the surroundings, painted the nature and kept everything in her heart.
Many years later, in 2009, she was on a work trip in San Francisco, with a colleague, and discovered a very special place. People stood together around one table, and had breakfast and lunch together. Lunch and dinner were prepared there, with ecological food, and the place was a wonderful source of inspiration. “We were both passionate about nature and gastronomy, and were both dreaming about such a place, such a beauty”, she says.
They came to visit Transylvania, and searched for a place where they can have what they were dreaming of. The old saxon house was for sale – and when they entered they simply felt they were part of it. “We loved the generosity of the space, first of all, then the fresh air, the very good light. You just feel this is for you and you can do here what you have dreamt of. My partner had the same feeling – that this is for us”, she says.
The renovation process took 4 years, and they wanted to use as much old materials as possible. The tiles are either recovered either bought from villages around. The plaster was made with yellow earth, traditionally, the wood is also very old, recovered from different constructions.
The stable was recovered and put inside and the kitchen was arranged in it. Old windows were restored, old furniture, also. They also bought old furniture – many pieces have more than 100 years old. Old towels and table clothes were found in the house, the dishes were ordered in a traditionally handmade pottery workshop, the carpets are handmade, also.
Special experiences for tourists all over the world
The guest house was opened in 2015, and tourists from different nationalities rested here, ever since. They love the place because it’s rustic, because it’s “something else”. “Our tourists are people who are searching for a very special place, they are interested by our story. They ask about village’s life, about the Saxons, we tell them about the traditions, the structure of the village”, Michaela says.
Comvivium is not only a place to stay. For the tourists, authentic Transylvanian culinary experiences are organized. People can cook with locals saxon, romanian and hungarian dishes, then eat lunch together. Local, natural products are used, and old ladies from the village share their culinary experience. Homemade wine, jams, tomato juice, pickles and mashed vegetables are made here and served to the guests.
Tourists are also guided to other local experiences – two brothers who make authentic wine in a village nearby, for instance. They can also visit old fortified churches, famous in the area, old citadel of Sighisoara or Racos natural reservation. Sibiu and Brasov, two of the most beautiful romanian cities, are 125, respectively 80 kilometers from Crit.
Together around the kitchen table
Ten years after her trip to San Francisco, Michaela’s feeling in Convivium is even much better than what she had felt there. The name is not random – it’s coming from latin and means two things – living together, on the one side, and on the other side the name of the evening meal at romans – people and family gathered then, it was the only moment of the day when they were eating together.
At Convivium, people eat breakfast and dinner together, in the kitchen, staying at a long, old wooden table. They talk, then share the same car, go on trips together and make new friendships.
You can find out more about Convivium on their website, HERE
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