Marta's Monterosa Blog

I am passionate about the Alps. They are my heart's home and the place where I would like to spend the last day of my life. I have been a tourist in the village of Champoluc in the Italian Monterosa for all my life and worked as a tourist operator in this area since more than 15 years.

I believe in respect for the special environment of this place that you can find only here. We all gain by enjoying its beauty, while trying to make a minimum impact at the same time. Leave it for our children in the future!

I believe in respect for people who live here with their traditions and culture, language, and work, their genuine products and delicious wines. They open their homes for us, tourists and meet us as their guests, if we are able to open our hearts for them. I have a friend who is a hotel owner and he says that when stressed people from the city come to his place, he tells them to sit down and take a drink before they even begin to worry if they have a room. Perhaps, we can bring a little of their kindness and calmness with us on our way back to the city.

My philosophy is to give back a little of what the mountains and the people from this place have given to me and to my family through my work, to communicate my philosophy and my passion to those who follow me on the blog, and in my trips as a tour operator.

If you would like to visit Champoluc, Gressoney, Alagna or other villages in the Aosta Valley, trek or ski in the Monterosa, discover Sardinia or other places we offer, contact us.

30 Oct 2010

Slow Holiday or holiday frustration

Author: Marta Capetillo  /  Categories: Blog  / 

Paola and Nica are the spiritual and also very physical power behind hotel La Torretta in the Aosta Valley, and a lot more. They have restored Paola’s family possession into a beautiful house for resting your mind and your body, and they have funded a local organisation of hotel owners in the Aosta Valley, where the focus is on ”Slow”. Or as they declare in their programme: ” the most important thing is to stop in order to know places, spaces, silences, perfume, colours…” http://www.slowholiday.it/index.php/filosofia-eng.html

Except for the name of the club, ”Slow Holiday”, the ladies are really sparkling, and filled of energy and fresh enthusiasm. Probably a consequence of the application of this philosophy.

This is again coherent with some of the ideas behind the ”genuine tourism” that I am working for today. Thus La Torretta http://www.latorrettahotel.com/ is the hotel where I invite my guests during this October tour.

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It is a place as I mean with a soul, where the same family has been living for more than a century and therefor left their footprints everywhere. The house was an inn already for hundred years ago, and people from the high valley of Ayas (Champoluc) were passing here with their whares (cheese, handicrafts, animals) going to the marketplace in the valley, once per season. Not even to tell that they often stopped for more than one night, after the market, when they had some coins more in their pockets.

Paola and Nica have used old things, sometimes as old as from the 17th Century, to restore the house: a door from a stable, a sledge, a 10 meters long pole for the ceiling.

In the past the nearby village was so important that it was given the name of the most powerful family in Aosta Valley, the Challand family. Today it is still a passing point, but we move fast in our modern lives, and we do not think we have time to loose stopping by.

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Citizens as I am, from Milan and Turin, stress away from city life as fast as possible, given the cues on the motorway of people from other cities going to spend their week end in the mountains. We come to our holiday loft, which possibly lies directly on the ski slope, to avoid missing one pist, especially when the cues are so long to buy the ski pass and so slow at the lift station.

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The only positive result I can see is that we can externalize our frustration on the ”criminal” standing on our skis instead of getting mad at our family members. But this is true if we are frustrated. And how could we not, when everything has to go so fast that we’re not able to hang on?

The Swedish group I brought to La Torretta in October was anyway not frustrated after 2 nights spent in this place off the more obvious touristic route, not even when they could not see the mountains they had come to this place to see, because of the thick fog of these fall days.

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We had also the chanse to visit a marketplace: the ”Marché aoux Fort” in the castle of Bard.

http://www.regione.vda.it/turismo/proposte/manifestazioni/gastronomia/marche_au_fort_e.asp

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Ok, this is only a touristic attraction nowadays, but in fact all the main villages in Aosta Valley have their ”real” market each week. It is a tradition that does not disappear.

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