Overnight at Kamaunhof in the Italian Dolomites
During my brief road trip though the Alps, we ventured away from Bavaria and the Austrian Tyrol to chase the sun. Mid-May in these mountains means mist and moisture! A short drive south brought us into the glorious Dolomite Mountains of the Südtirol in Italy. A UNESCO World Heritage site, these are some impressive mountains, steeply pitched and impossibly sharp! As we were there just as the season was tipping towards the latter half of spring, the valleys were alive with flowers, plants and herbs, hay-making and cattle-grazing. The deep winter and heavy snowfall satiates with ample moisture for this rich landscape, the greens lush and emerald deep.
After a quick walk around on the massive Seiser Alm plateau, we stayed at a beautiful property called Kamaunhof near the town of Kastelruth. A working hay and cattle farm, the accommodations were modern yet traditional, keeping what I liked to call the “Bavarian Hug” – a feeling of coziness, comfort and warmth. This from the people, but also from the architecture, textiles and cuisine. We weren’t all that far from the culture of Bavaria or Tyrolia further to the north. In fact, this area resembles Italy less than any other in the country. It’s a semi-autonomous region, governed with a sensitivity to the Alpen culture. These are mostly mountain people, speaking the German dialect and working the land as they do elsewhere in these Alps.
Staying on the farm we were witness to the family event of haycutting. All hands on deck for this operation, and after a full day’s work the stube is the place to relax, have some beer amongst company and enjoy some schnitzel or, in my case, veggie knödel. The Hug is strong in this room. We went for an evening drive to the neighbouring town of San Michele and saw the spectacular sunset just as the Kaiserschmarrn was brought to our table. This is an amazing dish, one my tastebuds recall from my mom’s and grandma’s recipes growing up. Sweet, shredded pancake — outstanding! A place I could have stayed for a week, alas it’s now one to return to again one day.
Here are some images taken around the Kamaunhof and towards San Michele. Click the first image to view large – recommended!
Kastelruth, Südtirol, Italy, 2014.
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