Small, genteel Deutschnofen: playing with mountains and expanse

The Hotel Gasthof Stern is located in Deutschnofen, an idyllic village in the heart of South Tyrol lying at 1350 metres above sea level. With almost 4000 inhabitants, it is the capital of the commune of the same name and the centre of the Eggental holiday region. However, the “Tal” (valley) in that name is misleading, because Deutschnofen sits on the Reggelberg, a wide plateau with meadows and forests, which have the mountainous giants of the Dolomites as a spectacular backdrop.

Those who tend rather towards claustrophobic attacks in narrow mountain valleys can enjoy the expanse in Deutschnofen. A look that can go far afield and yet still find points to hold to. These may be the centre pieces of the UNESCO World Heritage Dolomites, that is, Schlern, Latemar and the Rosengarten group, but can also lie further away on the horizon: amidst the Ortler group, for example, whose glistening glaciers you can see from here, just as you can the distinctive peaks of the Ötztal and Zillertal Alps.

The immediate surroundings, then, are where the spectacular landscape is first and foremost to be found, while the village itself convinces with its calm and tranquility. From the terrace of the Hotel Gasthof Stern, one overlooks the village square, and so is right in the thick of village life: during events and parades, when there are festivities and on public holidays, when the people of Deutschnofen go to mass in traditional costume.

Talking of mass: probably the most important place of pilgrimage in South Tyrol, the Maria Weißenstein monastery, which is visible from all around, is in the immediate vicinity of Deutschnofen. Built in the 16th century after the Blessed Mother appeared to a local peasant, the church and monastery have grown continuously over the centuries and are now are decked out all over with votive tablets that tell of the fears, worries and distresses of many generations. You can reach the place of pilgrimage, which already received a papal visit in 1988, in a leisurely half-day hike through meadows and forests from Deutschnofen.

“We belong to the Terroir.”

Paul Pfeifer, Hotel Gasthof Stern

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