Dear Guests, I have a fabulous story to tell of. It is one of those stories which have come about unexpectedly, like a flash thunderstorm in summer erupts from the sky, producing rain from sunshine in little more time than it takes to blink.
Listen to the tale I tell: once upon a time there were two young attractive girls from Tuscany, they full of life and with a love of climbing and who visited the Dolomites with enthusiasm. The local ‘lads’ were keen to accompany them no doubt. We are speaking about the sixties, those times full of dynamism and love stories which were not constrained by the old Tyrolean adage of “Ladins shall marry only Ladins”. In among the group of enterprising local youths was my father Ernesto, he a plumber in the summer months and a jolly ski teacher in the winter season. This combination allowed him and others like him to live a carefree youth, to earn a good shilling or two in an area which only a few years previously had known only poverty and hard times. Yes, these were the years when the young men could think to buy their first motorbike, buy trendy clothes, and enjoy a passing adventure or two. However, in the case of my father the old Tyrolean adage came back to bite. He met my mother, they married, and they opened La Perla: my grandmother did the cooking, my mother did the rest; from the outset things went well, full of energy as they were. My father remained a ferment of energy; singing and entertaining the guests in our Club 44, a venue which soon acquired a following, the irresistible Gegè di Giacomo on the drums and Nino Benvenuti one of the many guests. It really was a night spot which hit the highs. It was also a time when my parents began to travel a lot. They often went to Montalcino and the area around. They had friends there, and father enjoyed the good wine. They discovered Bagno Vignoni; given the season in Corvara was quite short they had a thousand and one ideas and they dreamed of developing their business interests in Tuscany. Whilst Ernesto was determined to never leave Corvara, for other than short breaks, Anni continued to harbour thoughts about the wonderful thermal waters in the large pool of Bagno Vignoni. At times, we prefer to keep a pass away from things and persons we know not well, perhaps because we are timid, prudent, have a lack of knowledge. Sometimes we even think we are not up to it and keep a distance from the place or person, or simply the years pass by and we put things behind us. Then again there are other times when things happen which may not seem to have a particular significance but which in time show themselves to be decisive indicators of a reality to come. And often there is a web of circumstance and coincidence, even an affinity between protagonists. Not wishing that this tale becomes too long and complex I will try to remain on track and come to the point. Let’s go back to Val d’Orcia: surely one of the most beautiful corners of Italy with a history which goes back to the end of the 9th century, but for our purposes has 1956 as a crucial moment in time. 1956 was the year when the Albergo Posta Marcucci took on its present structure. In the same year, La Perla came into being here in Corvara. Pure coincidence perhaps? Near Bagno Vignoni is Santa Caterina. The small church close to La Perla is dedicated to the same saint. Opposite Posta Marcucci is Il Barrino, a two-floor structure and where much good music is played. It had once been the old-school premises. Opposite La Perla there is not only Murin – our equivalent of Il Barrino – but there is also the old school of the village, a building which I and my wife now regard as our Corvara home when we are free of our La Perla duties. There are too many the similarities, too many the indicators: we decide to take the plunge. The hotel Posta, which until a few months back was in the hands of the Marcucci brothers, they the grandchildren of the original owners, those very two sisters whom Ernesto led in the mountains, and who with love and personality created the incomparable atmosphere which is much appreciated from north to south of our Italian peninsula - the antique furniture, fine paintings, objects displayed with tender care, long drapes in the spacious rooms which gift a noble ambience. Yes, all of this will take on a Ladin look, or should I better say a Tuscan-Ladin look for the roots will forever be Tuscan. And so it is. We are embarking on a Tuscan adventure because we have a great enthusiasm to learn. Just like a thread which will not snap we will commence our activity in April 2017 and extend the thread a little further but without wishing to change anything of a fundamental nature – only to prolong the thread with great joy, tact, a certain simplicity and with a good dose of energy. Each time we learn something new we ourselves are renewed. We shall continue to learn thinking of the new things to do. Some will be attracted by the renaissance garden, others by the old tennis court now new once again, as will be the bowls area. Posta Marcucci will have its essential features back in place. The outlandish idea my parents once had is now to become reality. And we cannot say that it is a tale which is just similar to a flash thunderstorm of summer. It seems that this place in Tuscany has called us as a question of destiny. And we willingly answer and will continue to do great things and enjoy ourselves in this marvellous land, home of poets and singers: Val d’Orcia, one World Heritage, calls the Dolomites, another World Heritage. We shall continue to demonstrate that the beautiful things of a time gone by have a great value in this day. The value of things cherished in time is unquantifiable and to waste it, to lose it, damage it, is the worst sin one could commit. We look forward to welcoming you in Val d’Orcia: we hope you will enjoy your time, discover why appreciation of time is important, to cherish it and to enjoy yourself too!
Manuel Dellago comes from Val Gardena: - we forgive every man his sins!! He is the food&beverage of the hotel. He is a real jester and almost always in a good mood. A fan of magic tricks he likes the chance to practise one or two! He is also head of the project of the Economy of the Common Good.
Read all stories of Manuel
Stefan’s arrival dates back to 1988 and he knows la Perla inside out! He is involved in a multitude of things for the good of the hotel, but his real strength is in table decoration and flower arrangement. His are the guiding hands for the presentation of our hotel home! He is like an adopted son to the Costa family and is always plotting and doing with signora Costa.
Read all stories of Stefan
Ernesto Costa is the boss. He now prefers to pass his time flying in his plane, polishing up his motorbikes, or tampering with antique cuckoo clocks from his collection. Always be quick to take his advice though for his insight into things is remarkable and he has an uncanny way of seeing things in their entirety.
Read all stories of Ernesto
Alexander Egger has been part of the team from 1994 to 2013 and since 2002 he has been the chef of restaurant “La Perla”. Originally from Tesido in Val Pusteria he spent out of season times in Sardegna where his partner and little girl Eleonora live. A person to be catched in a quiet moment; he is a man full of wisdom and sense!
Read all stories of Alexander Egger
Michil is the first born of the Costa family. A great lover of music he had always wanted to become a musician but has had to settle for selling steaks - or, better said, to being a hotelier. Michil is a bit the rebel in the family, has a great environmental commitment, and just loves Nature. He is the exponent of La Perla's philosophy.
Read all stories of michil
Riccardo Bertoncelli, writer and outstanding music critic. Born in Novara in 1952. A fan of rock from the age of 15. In 1969 he produced the cyclostyled fanzine Freak, dedicated to underground music. In 1973 he published Pop Story, the first in Italy of its type and today a cult book. It communicated to Italian youth the historical and cultural horizions of pop and rock.
Read all stories of Riccardo Bertoncelli
Daniel Verdorfer, cellarmaster extraordinaire at Hotel La Perla between 2012 and 2014. He was in charge of wine, the Mahatma Wine Cellar. He is from Tramin an der Weinstrasse in the South Tyrolean lowlands. He is into live concerts, exotic travel, good food and of course all types of wine.
Read all stories of Daniel Verdorfer
She’s from Padua, so she loves rugby. She’s a marathon runner and a cellist: energy and delicacy. The same qualities that can be found in the Spa at the Hotel La Perla in a natural way that will admit no artificial wellbeing. The passion she puts into everything is as vigorous as the mountain stream and as solid as a Dolomite stone.
Read all stories of Biancamaria
Egle is more than just a beautician, she's an aesthete, she understands beauty and art. She loves silence and everything that within the silence. It must be down to her Provençal temperament, much like ours. She loves meditating as she walks along the paths and travelling to discover new worlds. She's worked in Capri, Montecarlo, Paris, Saint Moritz, Alta Badia. She's actively participated in the transformation of the spa of our Hotel, in surroundings which are ethereal, soft, graceful and tranquil. Ah, and she always greets you with a smile.
Read all stories of Egle Chesta
Valerio is Sardinian. Smiling. Talkative. Witty. Curious. Lively. Attentive. Sensitive. Thoughtful. Valerio is the sum of positive adjectives, all shining brightly from his profound gaze. Valerio has been with us since 2012, he is front office manager and his greeting rings pure, cordial and sincere.
Read all stories of Valerio
Renate Kostner Pizzinini
Renate Kostner Pizzinini, hotelier in Alta Badia, owner of hotel Cappella in Colfosco. Keen traveller, lover of art, and supporter of many varied initiatives. www.hotelcappella.com
Read all stories of Renate Kostner Pizzinini
Anni Costa is the Matriarch of the great Costa family. She comes from Vilpiano and together with Ernesto Costa gave birth to the fantastic La Perla story. Time and time again she says to have handed over the reins to her sons but she still hears and sees everything which is going on! Keep alert and on your toes when she is around!
Read all stories of Anni
1994 was the year when Arturo Spicocchi first came. He remained until 2014. Since 2002 he was the chef of ‘Stüa de Michil’. He just loved to prepare those wonderful olives Ascoli style and is so passionate about food that at times it was difficult to get him out of the kitchen! Michil had to force him out at times and is now so happy that Arturo has recently discovered the joy of cycling!
Read all stories of Arturo Spicocchi
1998 was the year when Marco Pellegrini first set foot here! He left in 2015. Promoted to Head of Bar in 2009 he was really on top of his job and his cocktails are to die for. Recently married to Francesca, they live in Caorle. Very efficient in leading and guiding his team, Marco is good at organising and when discussiong one thing or the other he always likes to come out on top!
Read all stories of Marco
Nicolò has an eclectic spirit. Chef, host, manager: he can do it all and more. Like many a good Piemontese, he left for France as a young man, he worked in three star restaurants and was part of the Nadia Santini team. Then he discovered Alta Badia and he has recently come into the orbit of La Perla. Now he is gently guiding the Ladinia. Maybe not so as to make the floorboards creak, or maybe because his soul is still as light as a feather. The only thing he really cares about is that his guests fully embrace the spirit of this house, something of an inn, something of a refuge, always and however a welcoming, cosy, and tranquil place.
Read all stories of Nicolò
Reserved and star-rated, Nicola is the Casa’s new Chef. A little bit Ladin and a little bit Pugliese, he loves to put the best of Italy into his dishes that are as genuine as the sound of the bells and as authentic as the waves of the sea. Without bothering to use such worn-out words as tradition and territory, his Canederli grigi make converts even beyond the Dolomites, because Nicola believes that actions speak louder than words.
Read all stories of Nicola
Low-profile, high content: this is the essence of Fabian, with us since summer 2015. He confronts the deluge of numbers that face him everyday always in a positive way. Between an Excel file and an equation he found time to take a degree in Economics and Management, continued with his sport, always ate well and above all cultivated not only gardens and vegetable plots, but his boundless love of nature.
Read all stories of Fabian
His job isn’t climbing, it’s to learn how to live the mountain in the simplest and authentic way possible, without the chasing of performances. Living in the respect of the vertical dimension. This is Pippo, the mountain guide of hotel La Perla, in our house since winter 2016.
Read all stories of Pippo
Elide Pizzinini has been with us since 2006 and is the daughter of Ladin artists, grand-daughter of a famous couple and niece of very inspirational aunties and uncles! She lives together with husband Axl and her young sons Ezra and Edward in S. Cassiano - they both love plumcake! Friends and colleauges call her “ciüf” - a very special flower! Elide has a wonderful voice and when she tells a tale it seems that she is singing. As well as being Michil's P.A. she also deals with administrative and other aspects of the Costa Family Foundation.
Read all stories of Elide
Merch Pescollderungg is a local Badia man in that he hails from San Cassiano. First started at La Perla in 2000 as a sommelier, and has devloped to be today the right hand man of Michil Costa. He is our marketing man and the strategist for the product we call ‘La Perla’. Strong in analysing data he also is, strange though it might seem, full of creativity and winning ideas!
Read all stories of mErCh
The German actor Hannes Jaenicke is a passionate environmentalist and author. His most recent book „Die große Volksverarsche“ (Gütersloher Verlagshaus) landed 1st place on the Spiegel bestseller list.
Read all stories of Hannes Jaenicke
Nicola Dal Falco
Nicola Dal Falco, writer and poet from Rome, with Ulrike Kindl, Germanist from the Ca’Foscari University in Venice, is re-reading and re-writing the Ladin myths of the Dolomites. His broadsheets and other art publications can be found in the British Library in London, the Ragghianti Foundation in Lucca, as well as the libraries at the Mart in Rovereto, Palazzo Sormani in Milan and the Panizzi in Reggio Emilia.
Read all stories of Nicola Dal Falco
Mathias Costa is the second born of the family. He is never without a smile and we can really say that he is never ever in anything but a good mood. He manages the Murin tavern and his great passions are skiing and cycling. He is married to Petra, she from Vilpiano, and they have two beautiful little girls, Anna e Lena.
Read all stories of Mathias
Artur Pescol is orginally from Badia but now lives in Pieve di Marebbe together with his wife and two daughters. He has been responsible for ‘house maintenance’ since 1996 and as such take care of all aspects of La Perla’s well-being! He knows how to fix anything and everything – and I do mean anything and everthing! And more besides, for Artur knows many things, passing from alternative medicine to political scenarios, and even tells us how the weather will be!
Read all stories of Artur
Dott. Günther Reifer is a consultant for the CWE project endorsed by Hotel La Perla; he is founder of the Terra Institute and coordinator for Italy for the movement in favour of Common Welfare Economy.
Read all stories of Günther Reifer
Concetta is Ladin and was born in Brunico under the sign of Pisces. She can be proud of two well-deserved university degrees: foreign philology (specialization branch: history and culture) and law (specialization branch: criminal law). She is jurist and journalist. Humor, creativity and curiosity are characteristic for her style. Her great dream: publishing a novel.
Read all stories of Concetta Bonaldi
Lisa Campagnolo has been with us since 2009, in charge of the hotel reception. Now she's responsible for the sales department. Originally from Bassano del Grappa she is a great lover of Latin-american music. We are in good hands with Lisa for she really is ‘top of the class’!
Read all stories of Lisa
Diego Delmonego works in the social housing construction sector, reguarly photographs Alpine landscape, and for many years has monitored the territorial development in Trentino Alto Adige. In his conferences he emphasises the use of the environment by man. The prevalent themes are: urban dispersion; the trends in 'concreting' of the earth's surface; 'green roof' developments; environmental light pollution and solutions; 'plurigenerational' construction. He has cooperated on the drawing up of criteria for the reduction of light pollution in the province of Bolzano.
Read all stories of Diego Delmonego
Thomas Hanifle studied communication science in Vienna. Since 2005, he has been active in journalism as a freelancer, researcher at the Documentation Centre for South Tyrolean School History, author of several books and employee at Raetia publishing house. He is a founding member of the Ex Libris Cooperative.
Read all stories of Thomas Hanifle
Irene Pollini Giolai
Born in Asolo, Treviso, Irene now lives in Milan. She has a degree in Public Relations and Advertising, and she also attended for a year an Urban-wear (fashion design) course at the IED in Milan. Then she studied at the Goethe Institute in Berlin. Since the age of 4 she has written in a compulsive manner. "I love walking, looking around with music in my ears. I like big cities and small places. To me big cities are required to find inspiration and calm, and small places help me to re-elaborate material well."
Read all stories of Irene Pollini Giolai
Alexandra is from Ortisei, in Val Gardena. Her imagination has wings and her humour alights the souls. Once grown up, she wants to be an educator. When she is not studying for university exams, she follows her nephew Ezra with heart and soul. Ezra adores her. She was with us in 2013 as Michil’s assistant.
Read all stories of Alexandra Mussner
Sonia Sbolzani - an economist from the Bocconi University, a corporate communication strategy expert. From Casalmaggiore she has organised many cultural events ; also, the city features prominently in her history and art research. Key person in a prestigious jewellery institution and works with fashion and tourism companies. A friend of the Dolomites and, more specifically, of the Ladin valleys.
Read all stories of Sonia Sbolzani
Nicoletta Del Prete
Nicoletta Del Prete was to be found in our Wellness Centre. She is from Ischia – you know, that region where they sing and whistle! She has worked at La Perla from 2008 to 2013 and her specialisation is in sports massages. She said she knew all the secrets of the guests but she never told us any! Certain is that she proved to be very popular with all the guests.
Read all stories of Nicoletta Del Prete
Paolo is responsible for the gourmet restaurant "La Stüa de Michil". His mission is to close the circle, meaning to integrate the chef's dishes with the right liquid emotions. Paolo is a sommelier, and wine is his world. For him, recommending a wine is like a sartorial act: there is no meal that cannot be basted together with an apt choice, to be uncorked and poured with joy. He prefers small producers, appreciates those who show respect for the land they work and loves to discover the new without forgetting the old. He silently studies the diner's psychology, trying to interpret the dreams of those at the table. Because in the end, the important thing is drinking well.
Read all stories of Paolo
Francesco Ricci, born in the Modena region, has for many years been involved in company and social communication work. In 2008 his fictitious diary entitled 'Il 68 a pedali' telling of a cyclist taking part in the Giro d’Italia bike race alongside Eddy Merckx was published. In 2012 it was the turn of ‘Bella Ciao’, a fiction of a brief and tragic love in the summer of 1944, and most recently in 2013 ‘Velopensieri’, wide-ranging reflections on the meaning of life.
Read all stories of Francesco Ricci
Technology, London, web, San Cassiano, children, music listened to and played, degree in industrial design, basketball as a boy, skiing and walking when possible: Axl is a mix of all these qualities which are ideal for anyone whose job is to look after Casa’s web marketing-oriented communication, something he has been doing since September 2015
Read all stories of Axl
Without neglecting one important fact: he is also the husband of Elide!
Born in Milan in 1975, Claudia’s life is concentrated on writing. After a university degree in philosophy and two master degrees – one in writing techniques for fiction and one in enogastronomic communication studies – she has turned her passion into a profession. She also works for Identità Golose by organizing events and writing menu cards and articles. Aspirations? Simply creating.
Read all stories of Claudia Orlandi
Ulrich Wallnöfer is co-founder and initiator of Pur Südtirol, a platform for the commercialization and development of regional, sustainable food and products. Furthermore, he is an associate and manager of Meraner Weinhaus GmbH, a company that is specialized in the sale of wine.
Read all stories of Ulrich Wallnöfer
Maria Canins was born in Badia on the 4th June (the actual year is top secret!). She started her sporting career in athletics and in mountin running, then she moved on to cross-country skiing, cycling, and mountain biking. A world time title, two Tour de France and a Giro d'Italia are to her name and in cross-country she won the Marcialonga ten times and was also victorious once in the Vasaloppet. Her record speaks for itself and she is a sports heroine whose fame extends far betond national borders.
Read all stories of Maria Canins
Joe is from Verona and first arrived at La Perla in 2007. She is from Verona but looks and behaves just like a typical Ladin lady! In reality she has always wanted to be a bit of a Heidi, a companion of the goats in the meadows with the mountains full of music standing proud above. Always smiling she loves to laugh a lot. Joe is responsible for Communications and Press. She is Michil's wife.
Read all stories of Joe
Franco D'Orio is from Ischia – you remember, that is that region where they sing and whistle? Franco has been part of La Perla family from 1990 to 2015 and was the principal waiter for guests. Over the years he has never learned a word of German or English but all guests knew and loved him and sought him out. He loves to joke and is a big soccer fan, Napoli being his team.
Read all stories of Franco
Franco Brevini (born in Milan on 10 July 1951) is an Italian literary historian, literary critic, author and journalist.
Read all stories of Franco Brevini
He is associate professor for modern and contemporary Italian literature and has been working for “Corriere della Sera” for more than twenty years.
Luca Monica is Italy’s most famous food hunter and associate of “Peck”, the famous brand that has always been a synonym for gastronomic quality and reliability for the Milanese and gourmets. Luca has been a friend of the Ladins for a long time because he loves Alta Badia as much as he loves rare and precious food.
Read all stories of Luca Monica
Valentina Motta has worked here from 2005 to 2012. From Vigevano, she is married to Marco, ‘first course’ chef at La Perla restaurant for many years. Guests loved her and from the first ‘bun dé’ greeting in the morning when she accompanied guests to the breakfast table her day was full of joy!
Read all stories of Valentina Motta
Lucilla Incorvati has been working for nearly 20 years at the Sole24Ore, writing on investments, i.e. how companies and individuals make the most out of their savings and capital. Socially sustainable investments are becoming more and more important and represent a new opportunity for big and small investors.
Read all stories of Lucilla Incorvati
A lover of all things good in South Tyrol. He claims to be the British person to have skied the most in the Dolomites - first downhill in 1982 and still going strong. Travels extensively as international marketing director of Brain international but feels most at home at La Perla!
Read all stories of Haig Barclay
Young and determined. He worked himself up and spared no work. Half Caribbean and half Friulano he moves deftly and efficiently behind the bar. No need to worry here that the mix of his background will work against him. Victor is certainly an example of a cocktail come out well, just like the ones he loves to prepare – and with a smile always at the ready.
Read all stories of Victor
Marco Sacchelli has been with us since 2005. Together with his wife Linda he accompanies guests on summer excursions. Marco spends his time between Corvara and Tenerife, the birthplace of Linda. His knowledge and insight into our Ladin valley is impressive and he is always ready to share thoughts and facts with friends new and old alike, and the role he fulfils is a much appreciated one.
Read all stories of Marco