South Tyrol, Italy

May 2018

It was probably on a Saturday afternoon, at the special time when the sun disappears behind a mountain. There were two rooms in our name at Niedermairhof. Helmut and Kathrin were in the courtyard, and he was sitting on the tractor holding their ecstatic son on his lap. In such unusual way began the rite that makes us cross the threshold of a rare and joyous home; hold welcoming hands and meet sincere eyes; fall in love at first sight with the light in our room; be nourished by a homemade chocolate on our nightstand, next to a bottle of water and a welcome card. That same rite makes us seat and have a neatly served tea as we listen to the beginning of the story, while we worry we do not have a look wide enough to grasp every detail as we take notes in order not to forget any bit of sweetness. For example, the patterns on the walls that recall ancient local frescoes, the rust-coloured foxes on an emerald background, or the portraits hanging on the walls beside the stairs that lead to the mansard. The silence, and that morning when the kids walked around barefoot and lively, amused by our sleepy looks. The breakfast made of feminine gestures, classics and creative ideas: a feast of delicious tastes and healthy ingredients to enjoy together, slowly. Niedermairhof is a young and mature project. It is something like Kathrin, who grew up here and, on summer mornings, waters the flowers in her garden as soon as she wakes up. It is also something like Helmut, a strong and jolly family man. Between these walls, humans and things aren’t common at all, but very magical instead.

Words and Pictures Laura Taccari

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