Nosellari, Our Home in the Trentino DolomitesWe
are on our fifth home exchange. This time our homebase is in the
Trentino Dolomite mountains, a tiny viillage called Nosellari. One
of the first things that struck me here was how fresh the air is.
The air is very fresh and clean and it is a real pleasure to
Nosellari is on the road between Trento (about 40
minutes by car) and Vicenza (about an hour and a half by car).
Nosellari is at about 1000 meters elevation and has about 100
inhabitants. In contrast to how we were received in Rome (largely
ignored), the people here are very friendly and helpful.
mountains are beautiful. High rocky peaks, verdant green valleys
and fields and roads in good condition winding everywhere and passing
through many lovely villages. It is fall here and this is
definitely the off season for tourism which for us is good because
there are few tourists and we don't miss the summer mountain
climbing nor the winter snow sports. The only downside to being
here off season is that many restaruants are closed. In fact we
needed a little tour by the parents of our exchanger to find a
couple of restaurants that are open these days.
here serve very good food in large portions. I am determined not
to redo my weight gain experience from Rome 2007. This time
Sueann and I usually order one main course (pasta, pizza or whatever)
and a salad and share them. We do not go away hungry.
The other day in Folgaria we ordered a plate of liver Venetian
style (delicious brown sauce with lots of onions). I tried to
tell the waitress that we wanted to share the dish but it appanently
did not take since we each got large plates of the liver dish
and polenta. However when the check came it turned out that the
waitress had understood and the two large plates of food were each
actually half of the normal serving. Later we saw someone served
an entire serving of the dish. It was huge. I think we paid
12 Euros for the dish.
exactly three public businesses here in the village. There is a
small Coop market that has a bit of most everything one might need and
there is a bar/albergo and a bar/hotel. In Italy a bar is the
place people drink coffee at any time as well as the occasional beer or
wine or grappa. The Coop market is part of a chain of six
markets, each one in a different little nearby town.
Most of the
people we see in Nosellari are elderly or just plain old. On the
weekends the roads buzz with young people on motorcycles and bicycles but I don't
think they live up here in the mountains. The people on bicycles amaze me.
Often they are on the steepest mountain roads and had to get there by
riding up steep roads below. Some of these people are not young at all
and some seem like children. I admire them and wish I had the stamina they have.
and I have a very limited Italian vocabulary and hardly anyone
here seems to speak English. I had been under the impression that
German was widely spoken in the Trentino-Alto Adige state. Maybe
up north in the Alto Adige, but not here in the Trentino part of the
state. A few people speak German and we can communicate fairly
well with these folk. Some of the older men worked in France
in the 1950s and 1960s and we are able to converse with these people a
little in French.
is in Menlo Park using our home as a base. He is studying English
at a language school nearby. We are in his apartment which is a nice
two bedroom place in a building with a number of other apartments (we
are not sure how many). So far we have not heard a peep from the
other apartments. We understand that the building is owned by
Andrea's parents, the Valzolghers, really nice and extremely helpful
people. Andrea told us that Valzolghers have been in this
area since the 13th century. In fact, Valzolghers have occupied
the very place where our apartment building sits since 1213AD.
All I can tell you is that the
cemetary here next to the church is filled with Marzani and Valzolgher
The villages and the roads are extremely clean and neat.
One needs a special electronic key to deposit garbage into a
garbage bin here. The infrastructure of the roads is excellent.
Everything is well marked (so even we don't get lost among the
tiny villages here) and the roads are well maintained. Safety is
definitely a concern on the roads. Strong railings line bends and
hairpin turns (of which there are very many) and when a road runs next
to a rock face of a mountain side the face is covered with wire netting
so that stones and debris do not fall on the road. In general I
find the infrastructure here in northern Italy to be in much better
shape than I am used to in California.
Here are some photos we have taken around Nosellari.
Suean and Jeff in Nosellari
(with several deer)
Some bee hives
on the edge of the village
view from Nosellari's Road
The next two photos need a bit of
explanation. One day as we were returning from the Coop market
Sueann called me over to the side of the road to look into an opening
in the rock wall lining the road. The opening had a substantial
metal grating which served to keep people and animals, I suppose, out
of what ever was inside.
Can you see what's inside?
Here's a better shot of the interior of the opening:
It's a Christmas tree mounted on a board floating in water. The water must be ground water. We
imagine that the stick attached to the board serves to allow the board
to be drawn close to the front of the opening so that the tree may be
retrieved when needed. It also appears that the tree has an
electrical connection so that it could be lit up while still floating
on the water. You never know what you will find in these small
Very best wishes to you,
Sueann and Jeff
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