1. Atmosphere and enchantment
Unique, unparalleled – these are the adjectives that come to mind when trying to describe what it’s like at Vigilius, a resort that stays true to Alpine traditions whilst also responding to today’s trends in style and service requests.
Just imagine the resort. It is near Bolzano, at 1,500 metres above sea level, on a mountain overlooking green valleys studded with vineyards and apples trees. In a building made of natural materials, wood and glass. You feel you can just reach out and touch the pure blue Südtirol sky. And the silence - Vigilius can only be reached by cable car or on foot so the silence is absolute, no cars – just the mountain silence interrupted now and again by the gentle ringing of cowbells in a distant pastures.
In the mountain environment of Vigilius, a conventional reception would be out of place. What the guests become conscious of is the immediate impression of being somewhere totally different. The classic “reception” has been swept away in it’s place is the resort’s Piazza, a spacious entrance hall with an ever-burning fire as the centrepiece. Which provides a contrast for those coming in out of the fresh mountain air. A meeting point, with lounge and library, where you can plan activities or relax by the fire enjoying a glass of Legrein.
Vigilius Mountain Resort interacts with the natural environment to enable guests to regain peace, to immerse themselves in a spirit of contemplation they’ve maybe lost, and unite the feelings of eternity and immensity one gets when visiting the mountains.
The dining experiences at Vigilius are numerous and flexible. The two restaurants offer a new interpretation of the Alpine Italian cuisine.
2. Matteo Thun’s eco-architecture
The project Vigilius is in a unique location where architectural contamination would be a crime. The resort’s wooden and glass façades blend into the breathtaking landscape of snow-capped peaks and deep valleys. And this is thanks to the formidable work of Matteo Thun, who has reduced the differences between nature and architecture to a level of near imperceptible nuance.
Thun sought contact between the physical and mental dimensions of space in nature, to create a work in which the artist’s own thought is visible – nature is the reality of the world in which the architect lives and in which he believes it’s possible to express his sensibility. His work strives to communicate the essence of experience, so that it becomes a metaphor of life and not merely a representation.
Wood means warmth, a contrast to the mountain climate. This sense of warmth is also transmitted by the element of fire. Fire represented in the ever burning Piazza fireplace as well as in the symbol of the Dolomite sunsets and the explosive force of lightning during summer storms.
To balance the element of fire, water is found throughout the hotel. It symbolizes balance and harmony, a soothing force that adapts to circumstance and the incessant flow of life.
Thun’s architecture reflects a will to amplify, to underscore certain aspects of the landscape but his “redefinition” of the natural is never a betrayal of its true essence.
3. History and legend
The San Vigilio Mountain is a magical place, steeped in mysticism and surrounded by numerous legends about its creation.
One particular legend has it that in the mountains around Val d’Adige there once lived three giants, who were brothers. One of them lived on top of the Avelengo, another on the Lavenna and the third, the biggest giant that ever lived in Südtirol, on San Vigilio. Since these giants were pious beings, each of them started to build a church on top of his mountain. It’s said that the brothers only had a single hammer between to break the stone they were building their churches out of and they therefore had to throw the hammer from mountain top to mountain top, producing awesome thunder and lightning that terrified the valley folk.
These churches gradually became more and more beautiful and when they were finally completed, San Vigilio’s was the most beautiful of the three. In recent years the church was renovated and people say that the skeleton of a very large giant was found. The remains were left in peace, safe from visiting tourists and scientists, so the Giant of San Vigilio may rest in peace.
The name Vigilius is derived from the patron saint of Trento and the Tyrol region - San Vigilio, the first martyr to be canonized by a pope.
Born in 353, Vigilio lived in Trento with his parents and then went to study in Athens, where he was noted for his pious behaviour and intellectual gifts. In 380 he returned to Trento and was made bishop of that city by public acclamation. Vigilio’s main mission was the conversion of the Arians in Trento and of all the idol worshippers in the diocese. He had about thirty parishes set up throughout the region and sent fellow missioners to them to act as pastors and bishops, many of whom became martyrs.
Vigilio was devoted above all to preaching the gospels to the worshippers of Saturn and laid down his life for this as the result of a symbolic gesture. One day he threw a statue of Saturn into the river Sarca, thus triggering the anger of its worshippers, who stoned him to death. His body was taken back to Trento and buried in the church he himself had built. The deeds narrating his life and martyrdom were sent to Pope Innocent I in Rome. Many churches bearing the name of this saint, in memory of his devotion, can still be seen in Tyrol today.
4. The Vigilius experience
The rooms and suites
Vigilius has 35 rooms and six suites. The rooms have an entrance corridor, an ample bed, a desk and two armchairs. A heated stone element separates the bedroom area from the bathroom and helps heat the room in the winter. The suites (72 square metres) have a living room with a sofa, armchairs and desk, and a traditional Südtirol style dining area. The bathrooms have a double sink, shower and bath, and spectacular views of the mountains that can be enjoyed from the bed and the bath. A 12-metre terrace provides ideal space for relaxing with a book or admiring the spectacle of the sun going down behind the mountains.
All the rooms have the full range of comforts but out of respect for the absolute tranquillity that is promised, TV is only available on request.
Regaining form is as easy as it is pleasant at Vigilius.
Designed to complement the experience at the resort, guests may decide to join a Focus Week, create a personalized program or simply choose from the à la carte menu to enhance their time at Vigilius.
On the ground floor of the well being centre there are warm water suspension baths, relaxation and massage areas, where guests may indulge in traditional hay, mud and algae baths. On the first floor you find the treatment rooms, salon, solarium, sauna, steam bath, swimming pool, whirlpool and terraces. On the second floor there is the Paradise Garden with kneipp bath. Indoors there is a gym and a special area dedicated to meditation, relaxation and flexibility.
VIGILIUS MOUNTAIN RESORT
The Vigilius Mountain Resort in South Tyrol designed by architect Matteo Thun is located at 1,500 meters of altitude on the legendary Monte San Vigilio. The view from here is simply fantastic,…