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Boutique Hotel Orso Grigio

Traditional hospitality, historic ambiance and modern elegance come together to create an exclusive atmosphere
Arriving in Alta Val Pusteria, I got off the car to look around, and that's what I thought: that if you were really good, when you die you are in a place so that you go.... A beautiful place of ancestral and pure beauty, like its air, like the light that colours the great meadows and illuminates the sumptuous and placid peaks of the spectacular Dolomite peaks that surround them like huge sentries, guardians of one of the most virtuous and sustainable places in Europe. From which to put it one fuels are banned, and the whole Tyrol region is heated by the bio-mass of Dobbiaco, And San Candido is no less important, with its enchanting pedestrian squares at the foot of the Rocca dei Baranci, its churches that are very different from each other, the church of San Michele, baroque and the Collegiate Church of San Candido, Romanesque, to contend for visitors and faithful, it is truly a little jewel, this town, the oldest in Europe, with its almost 1200 years of history. And that's where I come in, full of curiosity and the desire to pedal. At the Boutique Hotel Orso Grigio, right in the central square of the village, as soon as I arrive, they make me feel at home, even though I have never set foot in my life. The walls of this ancient hotel exude history and tradition, and the people who work there, kindness and sympathy. I am accompanied to my room, very large, furnished with typical materials but reinterpreted in a modern key, with a stylistic language completely different from what is normally found here: minimal, linear, essential. Light larch, in the room, almost white marble and glass in the bathroom. My room, I discover, is defined as a "four bears" in the scale of evaluation - renking-Orso-Grey of the rooms, the highest level in terms of size and therefore price. Franz Ladinser, the owner of the hotel, a kind and smiling guest, brings 250 years of family management to his shoulders with ease and the ten generations of ancestors who have managed him before him. And takes care of the guests with sincere attention, everyone from regulars to newcomers, each one wins a warm greeting, a special welcome, a chat, real, never standard, as never standard are the rooms, different from each other not only for "bears" but also for styles. We start talking, Franz and I, like two old friends in front of an organic apple juice and he talks about the history of the hotel and his family, which mostly coincide, about San Candido, his way of life and hospitality. "My family has been running this hotel since 1745 - he explains - but the building, built in 1462 and designed as a hotel, is not a suitable home, because at that time, San Candido was the destination of many and frequent pilgrimages, because during a fire the crucifix of 1200 burning "had exuded blood" (which was probably the fire of resin from the wood because of the heat, or perhaps not, which was the "My guiding principle, he tells me with the erre typical of those valleys, as soft as the buquet of a good Trentino wine, is authenticity. And so for food, as much as possible "of the territory" biological and zero kilometer, but with quality contamination of every part of Italy or Europe. While a separate speech deserves wine, his passion. The winery of the Bear It 'beautiful, all stone, tastefully decorated with both aesthetic and functional, and is full of special labels, in the sense that there is little room for obvious wineries, even in excellence, that is to say those that everyone would expect. Here too, the Franz Ladinser sommelier favours research and, once again, authenticity: small niche houses, less well-known but equally valid. So we find Grillo, the new protagonist of Sicilian wine, of the Centopassi winery, the soul of the social cooperatives that, under the sign of Free Earth, cultivate land confiscated from the mafia in Sicily, or the bubbles Franz John, German and of very high quality, but little known to most. I was lucky enough to be there on Tuesday, the fixed evening of the "blindfold" tasting. We found ourselves in the cool, dark underground cellar, in about ten hotel guests, around four "dark" bottles or rather wrapped in the foil so that we could not see the label. And our patron has guided us slowly to discover the tannins, buquets, sulphites, oak barrels, making us orient among the thousand shades of wine, from grapefruit to plum, from wood to cherry, to try to guess the grape variety. We almost always did it, and it was fun, interesting, tasty...almost intoxicating! Definitely, the days spent at the Gray Bear have left me with a good memory, like a good and genuine taste in my mouth, that does not leave  

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