FOLLOW NATURE AND EXPERIENCE SWEET CHESTNUTS WITH ENJOYMENT.
A photo report in a travel blog. The idea for this was born three years ago. Together with Cornelia and Hanspeter Reiterer. At the Katzenthalerhof in Lana, which had not been converted at the time It is located on an airy hill with a panoramic view exactly opposite Merano in the Etsch Valley in South Tyrol. We want to report in words and pictures about this wonderful, fine hotel in a new look and at the same time about sweet chestnuts (never say "Maroni" in South Tyrol! That is Italian!) - and about what you can do with them. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the two "cats" once again for making the really great "chestnut contacts" with the regional companies we visited. At the end there are a few particularly beautiful views of the Dolomites. It has to be easy now. This time we visited South Tyrol at the beginning of October. In terms of the weather, we were (almost) always lucky. Sun, blue sky and clouds. But let's start from the beginning.
THE KATZENTHALERHOF OF LANA
Well, what should you say or write better about it: South Tyrol is unique. And the same is true of the wonderful and quiet location of this fine Garni hotel in Merano and Environs in the middle of orchards, vineyards and sweet chestnut forests. It is located a little above Lana on a mountain slope and can be easily reached by car.
The Katzenthalerhof lets us sleep in absolute silence at night and wake up in the morning to the twittering of birds. A pleasure to be here. The hotel is - if you don't want to relax in the hotel - an ideal starting point for an active holiday, whether on foot, by bike, motorcycle or car. The center of Lana can be easily reached on foot in around 10 minutes.
Lana itself with numerous cultural events for young and old is located in the immediate vicinity of Merano and at the entrance to the Ultental and below the Vigiljoch. Depending on the season or month, the village offers a wide range of entertainment options such as the flower festival in April, the wild herb weeks and mountain bike camps in May, the international volleyball tournament, the long Thursdays in summer, the Gargazon natural swimming pool, open-air games, pumpkin days, LanaPhil in October Keschtnriggl (sweet chestnut days in Völlan) and for the little ones the children's summer. Play golf in the area? No problem.
Speaking of eating out, we already have a little (secret) tip at the beginning: Walk just 1 km from the Katzenthalerhof on the Brandiswaalweg to the "Waalrast" restaurant and study and try the really varied menu with daily changing special dishes: Pusterer Schlutzkrapfen, Speck auf ́n Brettl (homemade), Kaiserschmarren with cranberries. It tastes really good there, the prices are moderate and the staff very friendly. In the evening, the restaurant is open in a warm and cozy atmosphere with a covered terrace and large windows until 11 p.m.
RESTAURANT WAALRAST, family Roland Unterholzner
Brandis-Waalweg, I-539011 Lana near Meran, South Tyrol / Italy
tel .: +39 0473 561270
THE HOTEL HISTORY, THE COLOR CONCEPT & THE STYLE
We learn from Hanspeter that the Katzenthalerhof was a pure farm until 1979. From here on everything changed, it became a hotel and the first guests were received. In a really super short time, Cornelia and Hanspeter completely redesigned, rebuilt, modernized and refurbished the entire building complex inside and out. That was only recently and now the Katzenthalerhof shines in new splendor. Congratulations on this achievement, both of you! You did really well.
Above all, we also find the chosen color concept and the exquisite design style to be particularly successful. Here, the creative, modern ambience meets the rustic. You have to get it that way first. Almost everything is in the colors black, white, anthracite gray, mustard, gold, dark and light brown. Very harmonious and well coordinated. In between there are always individual colored design elements such as the pink-green-colored classic chaise longue in the foyer or the bright blue velvet sofa in our room. The 300-year-old, huge hollowed-out chestnut tree trunk as a reception is ingenious. Everywhere there are contactless door openers and hidden motion detectors that make the life of a hotel guest very pleasant.
THE ROOMS & CO.
All rooms, suites and holiday apartments are designed individually and with great attention to detail. No two rooms are the same. Everything your heart desires can be found here. We feel right at home there from the start. For shower fans there is a rain shower and for bathing fans there is a bath bag with a cozy bathrobe, bath towel and slippers. Who likes freestanding bathtubs and infrared saunas? This is also offered in a pretty suite. For those who enjoy relaxation and longing for peace and quiet, there is a pleasant, heated indoor pool with an infrared sauna and a view of the apple orchards and vineyards. Above, on the spacious hotel roof with a panoramic terrace, you can let off steam on the outdoor fitness equipment with fresh air and a view of the Burggrafenamt. Or just read a good book in the sun loungers and enjoy the sun. Otherwise there is really room for everyone. There are parking spaces outside, but also in a large garage free of charge. Including free charging at a station for electric cars.
The front door slides aside noiselessly. Hanspeter welcomes the guests with a glass of sparkling wine and takes care of them from now on while they have breakfast. In any case, we first marvel at the panorama breakfast room, which is probably the heart of the Katzenthalerhof: modernity and nostalgia are harmoniously combined and create a feel-good factor that has it all. Plus a fascinating view of Meraner Land and a varied breakfast buffet with a rich selection of local products. And with a huge range of homemade specialties from Cornelias and Hanspeters such as fruit juices, imaginatively mixed jams and South Tyrolean bacon. On Sunday mornings, the icing on the cake is also very tasty Norwegian salmon from a special production. Good Appetite! It tastes great to us and we take our time with steaming coffee and fresh rolls.
VERY BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS
Cornelia allows us to go with her to the in-house paddock. There we meet Hajta, Paprika and Princess, who obviously enjoy their life there very much. They are totally playful and Matthias is licked from top to bottom by horse tongues for minutes and again. Strange but true! A short time later Andrea enjoys with her camera different types of chickens and colored ornamental ducks, rooster Billi and golden pheasants, which are not that easy to photograph. And as the highlight of the animal photo session that day, we can see and touch small, sweet, non-smelly mini-pigs up close. They actually have something special and smack their lips really loud while eating. All of them have names, of course, and are called Mary, Lou, Xena, Rosalie, Clara and Heidi. And then there are eight Quessant rams in the chestnut groves of the farm, which look really pretty. As you can read on the hotel's website, they like to fight for rankings and - if they still have time - they work as forest and meadow keepers.
FRIED CHESTNUTS & CHESTNUT JAM
At Reiterer`s Katzenthalerhof there is always a social get-together on Monday evenings in the hotel's cozy, historic wine cellar. There (on the house) your own red wine (Vernatsch) is served together with a Vesper plate (as they say in Upper Swabian), i.e. with bacon (self-smoked ham), cheese, pickled cucumber, tomatoes, butter and Schüttelbrot - and a great atmosphere of course . This time the event started outside "in front of the gate" with sweet chestnuts roasted live over a small black oven.
The somewhat aging wooden handle of the cast-iron frying pan breaks, but that doesn't stop Hanspeter from throwing the hot chestnuts high up in the air in order to then skillfully catch them again. And we see a "Keschtnriggl" for the first time in our lives and are allowed to try it out right away. In terms of movement, it reminds us a little of sawing through a tree trunk. But more about this "Keschtnriggl" and how it works a little further down in this blog. In any case, the typical hot eating chestnuts come out of it, as we know them from many Christmas markets in Germany. Only already (almost) perfectly freed from their hard shell. But much better in taste. But you shouldn't nibble on too many of them, otherwise you'll be full before dinner! By the way: Cornelia also makes delicious chestnut jam herself. You can eat it with the already delicious and varied breakfast.
THE BLUE APRON - MORE THAN JUST WORK CLOTHES
Hanspeter gives each of us a kind of blue apron, which many people here wear at work. He also does this every day. Therefore, here is a brief explanation of what this "blue apron" is all about:
"A man without an apron is only half dressed" is a saying here. The blue apron was and is partly still ubiquitous today and even for some people it is indispensable, they say. It is also described as follows: "By wearing the blue apron you can recognize a German or Ladin man from South Tyrol. Hair, skin and eye color can be deceptive, but the blue apron hardly Leibl the characteristic part of the South Tyrolean working day costume. "
Originally the apron was white, initially made of linen, but cotton was used towards the end of the 19th century. The long white apron that the farmers wore after Sunday service in the village square or at markets was an expression of class awareness. Usually only the farmer himself carried it, at most the farmhand or the feeder, but not the little farmhand. Between 1900 and 1950 the white "apron" (called Fürtig or Fürchta in the dialect) was gradually replaced by the blue apron, which then became popular in South Tyrol. The apron served primarily as protective and work clothing that was worn in every everyday situation. In addition, it performed other practical tasks: as a sack, as a sowing basket, as a sweat or towel, and last but not least, the upper part of the apron ("Pafer" or "Brüstl") was used to stow all kinds of paperwork when going to the offices and authorities. The apron straps were by no means so long by chance. If one tore it was tied together again and again. They are also often used to keep the pants up. On larger farms, the aprons were sewn by the sturgeon tailors (tailor without their own workshop who works for the customer), on the smaller ones by the women at the farm. Local peculiarities have been preserved, such as the shape of the top or the way the apron is tied.
And what happens when the hotel manager Hanspeter Reiterer and a photographer (Andrea D. from Germany) sorts sweet chestnuts in too long time, you can see here ...
But now please be very serious again:
THE HOTEL OFFERS AND PRICES
In addition to the own wine, self-smoked bacon, homemade fruit spreads and fruit juices, there are attractive last-minute offers, a regular guest bonus and much more. And the hotel prices, which from our point of view with everything that is offered here, are absolutely okay. Just visit the hotel's very well designed website. There you can find out everything you need.
Where and how do you actually find this wonderful hotel in South Tyrol?
GARNI HOTEL KATZENTHALERHOF, Cornelia and Hanspeter Reiterer
St. Margarethenweg 16, I-39011 Lana near Meran, South Tyrol / Italy
tel. +39 0473 56 21 81 and +39 0473 55 47 98