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New Heights: Thoughtful Design & Genuine Hospitality at Alpuris, in Val di Fiemme’s Cavalese

The sleek, graceful design of Alpuris melds perfectly with the beauty of the surrounding landscape, the history of its location and the warmth of its owners.



Could anyone be better placed to create a gracefully integrated, sympathetically constructed, Alpine bolthole in the Dolomites than a couple whose careers previously saw them working, on the one hand, for the Trento Tourism Board, and on the other, as an architect?

Yet what makes Alpuris, located in Cavalese in Trentino’s Val di Fiemme, even more special are the owners themselves. Both Stefania and Egon are hospitality personified: it’s in Stefania’s wide, genuine smile and in Egon’s easy-going affability. From the moment you enter their premises – this also being their home, where they live with their adorable children – you feel that you’re part of the family.

During our stay, nothing appeared to be any trouble. A request for ice to stave off the late summer heat with drinks on our private balcony? Of course! An expertly-crafted morning cappuccino, not otherwise provided in the beverage selection of the abundant breakfast buffet? No problem. And this early morning spread, it must be said, features cakes baked by Egon – a true Renaissance man – himself. If the aromas in the preparatory stages don’t get you, then be warned – the sight of them in the morning will.



Not that calories are anything to concern yourself over because, regardless of season, Alpuris is perfectly located for outdoor activities. Our trip coincided with the opening days of I Suoni delle Dolomiti – The Sounds of The Dolomites – a music festival held annually in a variety of mountain settings over the course of five weeks from the end of August. From the hotel (with a longing backwards glance at the freestanding bedroom bathtub, with its wow-inducing mountain views) it took just a few minutes to walk to the gondola which, followed by two more lifts (plus a moderate hike) took us to one of the highlight events of the festival – Dave Douglas’ ‘Mountain Passages,’ – music first created by Douglas for the festival in 2003, and recreated, twenty years later, with the original quintet.



Although I Suoni delle Dolomiti is one of the key attractions of the late summer season in the Trentino region, there is much more to the appeal of Alpuris than its proximity to the chairlift – although, of course, this makes it a perfect base for a ski holiday as well, with swift access to the less-trafficked Alpe Cermis ski area, as well as further links to Dolomiti Superski, the world’s largest ski area. The hotel’s setting, with its afore-mentioned majestic views of the mountains, makes a day spent in its environs a delight. If you have booked a Spa Suite, you can enjoy your own jacuzzi on the balcony, but the hotel’s wellness offering also includes a sensory shower, a relaxation room (complete with chaises longues and a suspended circular bed), a Turkish bath and a traditional wooden sauna. Even without these features, it’s a joy to simply while away the morning hours on the sofa of your balcony with a book, before heading downstairs to the grassed area for an afternoon Aperol.

Cavalese, a ten-minute stroll away, also merits exploration. Don’t make the mistake of merely pausing to admired the sgraffito on the Museo Palazzo Magnifica Comunita’ Di Fiemme: this 13th century Bishop’s Palace houses an incredible collection of artworks and a series of ancient prison cells bearing fascinating traces of their former inmates. There’s also a ‘secret’ staircase spiralling from cells to courtroom, constructed so that prisoners could travel from one to the other without lowering the tone of palatial proceedings.



Several churches also stud Cavalese – from Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta, surrounded by parkland and featuring frescoes and a bell tower, to the imposing clocktower of Chiesa San Sebastiano. There’s also the 19th century Our Lady of Sorrows Church, which features a neoclassical style and, inside, a ‘Pietà’ – which, legend has it, came into existence in mysterious circumstances and inspired the surrounding build.

The choice of restaurants is exceptional. Of course, the word ‘basic’ can be rarely be used when one is talking about a pizza in Italy, but never has this been so apparent as on an evening visit to Pizzeria Excelsior, located almost opposite the Museo Palazzo. Housed within an historic building, pizza is elevated to superb levels here: even the gluten-free option, so often a bland apology to those denied the delights of regular flour, is sublime. All the classics are on the menu, but it’s worth venturing into less familiar territory with combinations such as the ‘Cermis’ – a tomato base topped with mozzarella, potatoes, Fontal cheese and smoked ham.



Down a nearby laneway, at the Michelin-starred Wine Bar El Molin, the atmosphere could scarcely be more different – from large, convivial groups and families, we’re now surrounded by gaze-locked couples and intimate conversations – but the food reaches dizzyingly creative heights. From the moment you enter the restaurant’s cave-like interior, you know that El Molin takes its wines seriously – and, to our delight, its gins, too. Starting with a superbly blended cocktail based on the latter, we move on to one of the restaurant’s 700 labels (El Molin gained recognition at Milan Wine Week in both 2021 and 2022, having just opened in 2020) to accompany our choices from a menu that’s based on local produce fused with international inspiration. Antipasti spans boards of European cheeses and crostini with avocado, prawns and buffalo mozzarella ‘cream,’ while the primi offer dishes such as trofie pasta with rocket and pistachio pesto, served with mussel and clam salad, plus confit cherry tomatoes.

The secondi are no less difficult to choose between, but we are, thanks to service as exemplary as the F&B offering, eventually sated and cosseted. There’s a slow, food-coma-induced walk back to Alpuris – but, oh – the prospect of falling asleep in that room and waking up to that view of the mountains and to the care of Stefania and Egon. You’d be forgiven for pinching yourself.


Sarah Rodrigues


Images supplied by Visit Trentino 




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