Damanhur is a federation of action-oriented communities, or “nucleos.”

The Aval nucleo, which specializes in winemaking, lives in this state-of-the-art eco-home.

The basement of Aval’s home is a high-tech assemblage of heating, cooling, and electrical equipment. (p. 40 in the book)

Biodiversity is a high priority at Damanhur. The Eco nucleo, where this farmer and his son live, grows a wide variety of fruit trees.

The Arboricoli nucleo specializes in communicating with plants. To this end, they try to live as close as possible to trees.

Arboricoli residents experiment with low-tech building techniques and wooden mosaic artwork.

This cyclamen is wired to a machine that translates its electrical impulses into music. Despite my doubts, I was able to communicate with this plant. (see pp. 174-5)

At Arboricoli, simple living includes a community-wide wireless internet system. This computer programmer works from his home in the trees.

Damanhur’s magnificent underground Temples of Humankind have been called “the eighth wonder of the world.” For a virtual tour, go to www.thetemples.org.

In the temple’s Hall of Mirrors, one’s image is reflected in a seemingly infinite regress. (p. 159)

Damanhur’s arts, crafts, and farm cooperatives sell their goods at La Crea, a renovated Olivetti office equipment factory.

Damanhur’s fanciful “mass transit system” is really a glorified form of hitchhiking. Much to my surprise, it seemed to work!

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Damanhur’s roughly 600 residents live in 30 communities, called “nucleos,” spread across a spectacular subalpine valley in northern Italy.  Each nucleo in the Damanhur Federation is devoted to a specific field: solar energy, seed saving, organic meat production, education, healing, etc.

Appropriately, Dendera, a new nucleo dedicated to international exchange, served as my gracious host.

Damanhur may be the world’s most fast-paced, high-tech ecovillage. For instance:

It may also be the world’s most beautiful and fanciful ecovillage. For instance, in order to enter into a more intimate relationship with nature, each member takes as their first and last name the Italian name of an animal and plant. As a consequence, I found myself interviewing people with names like Anaconda Papaya, Lizard Pepper, and Goat Carob.

For Damanhurians, playfulness is not just about having fun; for them, it also as a key source of creativity. Nowhere is that creativity more evident than in the community’s underground Temples of Humankind, an architectural wonder that serves as a place for meditation and ritual and attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world.

Official website: http://www.damanhur.org/

Virtual tour of the Temples of Humankind: http://www.thetemples.org/tour/

Video introduction to Damanhur

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