Sunny Valley state of mind: the romantic chalet where you can forget about the world

Valtellina pride and Sami culture, waiting and beauty: the mountain lodge to be enjoyed once in a lifetime
When you come back from the end of the world, at the North Cape, the first signs of life are the Finnish landscapes held strenuously alive by the Sami, an ancient Nordic population of obstinacy and delicacy. When you get off the cable car of Santa Caterina di Valfurva, a valley of snow in the Stelvio National Park, you find the first signs of Sami life in a romantic chalet, in a mountain hut, in a wood and history alcove at 2,775 meters. It’s called Sunny Valley Kelo Mountain Lodge and it’s a luxury that we should give ourselves. Even for a bombardino at the end of the track, or for a plate (hand warmers) of pizzoccheri after treading the footsteps of Deborah Compagnoni (on that black track that brings us back to the 90’s sporting heroism) or, finally, for a night to sleep in a project of delicacy and obstinacy.

Those leaving Sunny Valley Kelo Mountain Lodge have a full heart, a light brain. Who leaves the Sunny Valley Kelo Mountain Lodge has the stories of mountains and the easy-to-wear, has the white slopes and the pink mountains (no, we are in Valtellina, nothing to do with the tops of the Rose) and above all has a pride of belonging for something that is not hers. But it is ours. Foreword: in a mountain hut you will always remember (and always will return to) the refugee, the one who opens the doors for good food and warmth. Beppe Bonseri has created eleven suites that overlook different mountains (and give the rooms their name) and avoided sin of ostentatious luxury forgetting where it is: he was born in Bormio, grew up on those snows, he built a world from nothing . A world that responds to the names (and epochs) of Briko (technical excellence of Italian masks and helmets), of Alberto Tomba (he has toured the world with the National Skiing, giving his advice to the technique of the great of Italian skiing). All this allowed him to work ten years to build a shelter / lodge in altitude where Valtellina and Finland cohabit naturally. And yes, be an excellent refugee (deluxe).

The concept was complex, the obstinacy and delicacy of Beppe Bonseri also: enter and look for it. Will be in front of a table to entertain the guests talking about a wine, the Valgella of the winery Aldo Rainoldi, which leaves a veil of tears (ask him why, this is a story of great generations that help new generations); look for him while he talks about how to smoke the salmon at high altitude, a lesson borrowed from those lands of the north to which Beppe Bonseri has thought just chose to change a historic mountain shelter expanding it to another: an even more complete experience.

For this mountain lodge two teams of carpenters and craftsmen have been called: a Valtellina and a Sami (to be precise, two Finnish teams that have alternated): all because the wood of the Sunny Valley is Kelo, a naturally dried polar pine that it is cut only and exclusively when the tree has finished its life cycle (and eco-lodge is). A team of Valtellina and one of Sami who builds in altitude and without speaking English to each other: the result is perfect and successful. Because in the mountains we understand each other with a nod.

The scent of wood arrives everywhere: it warms your bones, asks you to relax until dusk (early) and then leave boots, thermals, masks and count the snowflakes that fall all comfortably laid in the spa overlooking the valley ( insured trance effect). A typical kelo sauna, simple, refined, without useless frills to add where there is already the perfection of Mother Nature. Who wants to face the whole experience can peep in the snow (in costume only) for the SnowSpa typical of the Great North.

Then you go back to the private alcoves, the plants stop, the silence falls and the stars are hung in the sky: look at them with a glass in your hand coming out from the Igloo Bar (ps: there is also the option to sleep directly in igloo), sit in the innermost wing of the restaurant (on the upper floor of the main building) drink Lugana and eat with aubergine gnocchi or mashed potato with meat sauce. Sink in a post-dinner reading on the chaise longues that look at the snow from white becoming blue. And then take refuge in the suite where you can dream incredible adventures. Or just white mountains that you will be the first to touch the next morning, when plants and skiers will still be hours and hours away from you.