After having spent incredibly relaxed days close to Bolzano in South Tyrol, I believe I am forced to spread the word of the cozy cottage we were happy to pass by whilst one of our hiking tours. We only stayed for a couple of days, but during this short trip decided to go on hikes in the afternoons and look for authentic huts afterwards to fill our empty stomachs and regenerate our tired feet.
On one of our excursions, we were happy to find the beautiful self-sustaining cottage St. Helena which is owned by a small and kind family: the mother, her son and his wife. It is named St. Helena due to the Catholic Chapel contiguous to the cottage. The Chapel is covered with old paintings of St. Helena, and offers small masses every Sunday. This Church gives the cottage an even cozier flair. We were lucky enough to have great weather and be able to sit outside and enjoy the incredible view on the Dolomites. The cottage is cozy, but still has a lot to offer. For one, the delicious food: Speck, Kaiserschmarrn, cheese and further Austrian delicacies. Due to the fact that the Jausenstation or punto di ristoro St. Helena is located in Deutschnofen or Nova Ponente, it is close to the Austrian border and is bilingual. So, street names, the menus, and the people are all bilingual. This gives St. Helena an even nicer atmosphere, as people speaking both Italian and German come together and it does not seem to be of any difficulty, as the owners obviously speak both languages perfectly. The family has a great division of labor, the ‘children’ are serving, whereas the old mother is cooking. The cottage is in possession of a great old stove, on which the grandmother prepares the delicious meals. And the best thing of all, it is incredibly cheap. So you can stuff yourself and barely pay anything, and whilst this enjoy the beautiful view. A further great thing is that everything offered on the menu originates from the family’s barn or their garden. I took a tour and checked out their tremendously fat pigs (Speck), visited the cows (fresh milk, cheese), had a look at the humongous chicken (fresh omelet, Kaiserschmarrn) and last but not least discovered their garden with fresh vegetables and fruits. They even make their bread themselves! As a city child, I find this so great, I wish this would be offered more often. I, therefore spontaneously decided to let you know about this great place I fell in love with. So, if you’re ever looking for a place to properly relax, consider Deutschnofen/ Nova Ponente and on one of your hiking excursions take a proper break at St. Helena!
Kreuzhof/ Schwarzenbach/ Deutschnofen/ 39050 Süd Tirol – german
Rio Nero 7/ Nova Ponente/ Alto Aldige – italian
Fam. Zelger, Tel. +39 0471 610171
When: open all year, in winter for skiers, and in summer for hikers
Looking for a hotel to stay?
My tip: Panoramahotel Obkircher
Adress: Platzviertel 6, 39050 Nova Ponente (Deutschnofen), Italy