‘Lord of the Rings’ Actors Express Support for Italian Pastry Chef’s Plan to Build Hobbit-Inspired Pub and Solar-Powered County

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Nicolas Gentile, 37, has lived like a hobbit on two hectares of land in the Italian countryside for over a year. Giacomo Savini and Luciano Masiello / Courtesy of Nicolas Gentile

  • Nicolas Gentile is the 37-year-old pastry chef who aims to be Italy’s first real Hobbit.

  • Gentile is building a Tolkien-inspired county in Abruzzo, complete with Hobbit burrows and a pub.

  • This week, his project was boosted by cast from Lord of the Rings, including Elijah Wood.

  • See more stories on the Insider business page.

A 37-year-old super-fan of JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy has received support from three members of the film trilogy cast to raise funds for a real-world County in central Italy.

In a series of appearances in Cameo, Elijah Wood, Billy Boyd and Sean Astin, each hailed Nicolas Gentile’s plan to bring Bag End to life, which has been underway for three years and documented on Instagram as _myhobbitlife_.

“It’s amazing what you do. I love all the costumes and all the set photos you did,” said Elijah Wood, who starred in the movies as Frodo Baggins.

“It’s absolutely perfect from what I remember from Bag End,” he added. “If I am ever in your part of the country, in your County, I would love to visit you.”

Gentile previously told Insider that he spent almost all of his savings to design and build a small hobbit burrow from scratch on land outside the town of Chieti in Abruzzo, central India. Italy.

“I’ve always loved fantasy literature and movies, Dungeons and Dragons and video games,” he said. “But at one point in my life, I felt like I was going through other people’s adventures and not mine. I decided that I too would live my life as a character in movies and books that I loved it so much. “

Sean Astin, who played Frodo’s gardener and friend Samwise Gamgee in the movies, was rambunctious about the world Nicholas has built so far.

“What an amazing thing you do! You make it the real County of Italy. It’s amazing,” he said.

The video appearances were part of a crowdfunding launch to raise $ 1.8 million for the next stage of the project: a life-size hobbit village called La Contea Gentile.

La Contea Gentile is expected to operate as a non-profit organization and accommodate one large underground house and four smaller houses where other families could reside. Gentile says he does not intend to make the area a tourist spot but rather a small community where people live off the land.

A former pastry chef with a degree in geology, Gentile plans to create replicas of the Green Dragon Inn and a large version of Bilbo Baggins’ house, all powered by solar energy.

“If I had wanted to get rich, I would have invested in bitcoin!” he said. “All I want is to meet people like me, who have the same magic in their eyes and a love for the simple things in life, who like to have dinner with friends and have an adventure in the woods every now and then. time.”

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