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What lighting in the mountains?

Di Antonio Caneva, 29 Agosto 2003

I have always been bothered by the Las Vegas style, overbright lighting you can find in the hotels of some mountain resorts, where Christmas lights are often left on the whole year round.
I had been in Lindau on the Bodensee, in Germany, and I had found a few hotels with lighting in poor taste that looked like a Christmas tree, contrasting with the handsome, solid architecture typical of that place.
I was in Corvara a few days ago, and I was lazily zapping through channels until I settled on Rai 3 which was broadcasting a programme for ethnic minorities in Ladin. My attention was captured by a heated polemic between the owner of Hotel Capella of Colfosco and Michil Costa, a member of the family that owns the La Perla Hotel in Corvara. Both hotels are good, well-structured establishments with a consolidated clientele, and the La Perla restaurant has even been awarded a Michelin star. The dispute was precisely about lighting which – in Costa’s opinion – should be regulated according to the principle that “tourists do not come to South Tyrol in August in order to find a Christmas atmosphere,” while the Capella owner said that “everyone is the architect of his own hotel, and is free to handle aesthetic issues as he pleases”. Towards the end of the programme there was an interview with the mayor of Corvara, Heinz Kostner, also a hotel owner, whose comments I could not understand as they were spoken in Ladin.
The following day, a reading of the Alto Adige daily newspaper gave me the essence of his opinion in the following statement: “Things that are overdone are out of place, there is no doubt about this. But the issue is above all strongly dependent on individual sensitivity”. To explain the situation which has developed in Corvara, too, Kostner uses an enlightening and humorous expression: “If a farmer has a sick cow, he will put it up for sale with all its ornaments and the bell around its neck”.
After reading this amusing article, I went out for a walk in the warm night (there, too!) and saw the little bright lights that lit up the mayor’s hotel.

Translation of the Italian
editorial by Paola Praloran

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