Thursday, April 28, 2011

South Tyrol, life on a farm (maso)

Do you like the idea of roosters crowing, mountain bells chiming, thick slabs of rich yellow home-churned butter, foamy milk just brought in from the barn, a breakfast of home made cheese, the freshest soft boiled eggs, speck and jam and the most breathtaking mountain views from the window? Then follow me.

You feel rested and restored after a good night's sleep in soft and cozy down blankets and hand carved wooden beds. The only sound you hear during breakfast is silence. Well, that is not exactly accurate. You might hear a few cows mooing, some goats bleating, some chicks clucking, lots of birds singing, some bees buzzing. Perhaps even a tractor somewhere in the valley. But no cars, no airplanes, no kids.

Wait, what?? No kids?
Ok, you can probably hear your kids too. But no fighting or screaming or crying. Just distant laughter from the meadow, where they are playing among the flowers with the farm's Saint Bernard. I kid you not. While you enjoy your hot cup of coffee, they will be outdoors amusing themselves, no supervision needed. The worst that can happen is a close encounter with a pony or a calf.

This is not a dream, this is reality. This is South Tyrol.

Nebbia came hiking with us

Our maso/hotel

If you read my previous post, you already know we went off to look for the Easter Bunny. In our quest, we headed towards South Tyrol, or Alto Adige, an autonomous province in the already autonomous region of Trentino Alto Adige. This area was annexed to Italy from Austria-Hungary after the First World War and was part of the larger historical County of Tyrol. Most of the population of the area still speaks German, or an Austro Bavarian dialect, as its first language and the traditions of the area are strongly reminiscent of those of their Geman speaking neighbors. Thus the Easter Egg hunting and the Easter Bunny.

This just happens to be one of those places where you can still escape crowds, traffic, pollution, where you can revel in the beauty of nature. The food is wonderful and pretty much everything you eat is organic and local (and when I say local, I mean it was grown, made, cured, milked or hunted literally a few hundred feet from your bedroom).

The farmer's son likes making cheese

We like the coffee and cake afternoon tradition

Hot fritters filled with spinach to dip into barley soup made by the farmer's wife

Fresh pappardelle with roe deer ragout

Speck and cheese knoedel

Schlutzkrapfen filled with spinach and cheese


Polenta and cheese

Roasted young goat

Porcini ravioli

White asparagus lasagna...'tis the season
 There are vineyards and cellars all over for wine lovers. You can do almost any sport imaginable or you can sit back and relax in a Spa if you are feeling lazy. There is no shortage of museums, castles and towns to visit. Needelss to say, everything is organized, orderly and clean. Prices are extremely reasonable, children are welcome everywhere and catered to 100%.

Look here if you would like to spend a holiday on a farm of your choice.

Look here if you want to stay where we stayed.


  1. Looks like sheer bliss! Children catered to 100%? What a difference. We recently ate out in Florence and the waitress stacked one chair on top of another and told us that was their "high chair!" luckily we are savvy and travel with a portable high chair for Roman.
    Glad you had such a relaxing time!

  2. I was barely halfway through your post when I decided I HAD to go and spend a few days there! Thanks so much for including all the info, I will check into it and report back, inchallah~

  3. HEAVEN. It truly looks like how I envision heaven. ALL of it. Thank you for posting the links at the end too...I am forwarding this post to my husband as a hint - hint!

  4. It's like an advertisement for the region. Seriously, next year you should get to stay for free!
    Oh, and hopefully we'll finally be able to join y'all!

  5. Nicole - that is hysterical, about the waitress in Florence. We usually travel with portable high chairs too. In the café where we had cake they even had a sound proofed play room with glass doors and mini slide for the kids play while you enjoy your cake.
    ToB - glad you liked the idea. We go back every year now.
    DD&W - it really is lovely. Especially when you live in a small, overcrowded country like Italy.
    Moomser - I know...I promise I didn't get anything in exchange ;o) You must join next year!!

  6. What a beautiful place, a place where a person could forget all the cares in the world. Oh, and if there's cake there, you know its good :D
    *kisses* HH

  7. MMMMM I want to go home!!!!!!!!! hehehehe I love South Tyrol... I used to go to Merano to ski as a child and my husband and I spent a wonderful long summer weekend (a few years ago) very near where you were... in Valdaora. Isn't the food AMAZING? Your pictures are mouth watering... especially canederli and all the pasta dishes. I wish I could have some. That's what I miss the most about being in Italy (at least food-wise): all the regional produce... SIGH! Great pictures btw! :-)

  8. This looks like heaven! Thanks for posting!

  9. Nuts about foodMay 2, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    HH - yes, a lovely place and lovely cake...
    Manu - I am partial to the area too as you can see. And the food.
    Miri - 'Tis heaven


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