“There is a tight link between tourism and the conservation of historical buildings. The aims of the conservation of architectural monuments are consistent with the growing desire of contemporary man for authenticity, a slower pace and sustainability”. The Swiss Heritage Society founded Stiftung Ferien im Baudenkmal bearing that idea in mind. The project consists in restoring abandoned properties in Switzerland’s most remote villages and turning them into holiday homes. In line with this philosophy, in 2015 owners Andrea Picenoni and Inez Wille decided to open the doors of Cäsa Picenoni cief to tourists.
Bondo, in Bregaglia, is a small cluster of houses alongside the Roman road that connected the north and the south of the peninsula. The original building dates back to the 13th century, when the three-storey tower was built. Afterwards, the brick stairs, the kitchen and other rooms were added. On 18 October 1621, the house burned to the ground during a fire, and was built again in the 17th century. A third part was added around 1760. The building, which originally belonged to the Cortinis, had become property of the Picenonis a few decades before, when Godenzo Picenoni had married Caterina Cortini. Today, the house’s style is simple and cosy, true to local tradition. Groaning floors, low ceilings, the smell of wood burning in a soapstone heating stove. Careful details, perfect spatial organisation, minimal and appropriate contemporary features. However, the main benefit offered by the house is not inside its ancient walls, but outside. What surrounds the house is part of its domestic life as much as what is inside: Plaza d’Zura and its pretty fountain, Donato Salis’ inn and the wood climbing beyond Saint Martin’s church. Cäsa Picenoni’s special quality is the opportunity to watch and to watch things from above and catch their variable shades.
Words Meraviglia Paper, pictures Paolo Barbi.