When did you first come here?
‘In the summer of 1988, with my husband Sergio. I was immediately fascinated by the colours – the deep-turquoise lakes, the pockets of wild flowers – and the incredible light and rarefied air that make you want to stay outdoors all day. The energy of the Engadin, the region surrounding St Moritz, charmed me so much that we decided to buy a house here.’
Which is your favourite place to stay?
‘Suvretta House is an old-world castle high up in the mountains, completely isolated in the middle of the forest. The most wonderful thing about it is the view, looking out across the valley and to the Alps beyond. There’s no traffic or noise to pull you out of the tranquillity – it’s great for feeling in touch with nature.’
Top foodie spots?
‘In the centre of town, Chesa Veglia is a typically Swiss restaurant and just like being at home. Set in a rustic farmhouse building, it’s still very elegant, serving schnitzel, sautéed veal and homemade pasta, but I usually order the roast chicken. Or we go to the Pizzeria on the second floor for a more casual vibe. Other places I keep returning to are Restorant Dorta in Lower Engadin, a charming little spot with fantastic food, a lovely atmosphere and a pretty terrace, and Chasellas, which has the best potato rösti, a local speciality. For pizzoccheri, a type of tagliatelle made from buckwheat, head to Cambrena at Ospizio Bernina in Valposchiavo, on the Bernina Glaciers.’
Which bakeries would you recommend?
‘I always pop into Hanselmann, my favourite patisserie, or Crasta in Val Fex – they make an incredible blueberry cake. The area is known for having some of the best bakeries around, so for those with a sweet tooth I also highly recommend the chestnut cake at La Passarella in Sils Maria, the walnut torte at Ingrid’s in Samedan, the freshly baked braided bread at St Moritz Bad and the delicious chocolate at Gianottis in Pontresina.’
What about an aperitif?
‘We used to go to Mario’s Bar at Badrutt’s Palace all the time with the whole family, so much so that they dedicated a drink to us – the Loro Piana, a Virgin Mojito with ginger ale. Mr Mario is unfortunately no longer there, but his traditions remain and have been handed down. Everyone still says “Let’s go to Mario’s!” come sundown.’
Where do you head for a culture hit?
‘There are numerous galleries and museums for art and design enthusiasts, but particular highlights are the Segantini Museum, a domed pavilion built to commemorate the 19th-century painter Giovanni Segantini; Andrea Caratsch for contemporary art; and Muzeum Susch, a private collection housed in a former 12th-century monastery about 40 minutes’ drive north of St Moritz. There’s also the Nomad design and art fair in July, which is always very interesting.’
What are the best things to do here?
‘In winter, when everywhere is buzzing with snow sports, I love to go cross-country skiing – this is a paradise for it because you can hit the frozen lakes. I also like snowshoeing at night when there is a bright full moon. However, I think the mountains are at their best in summer, when you can soak up the beautiful landscapes going on long walks through the valleys and exploring the lakes, which in warmer weather people windsurf and kitesurf on. My favourite spots are Sils Maria – it has the most stunning lakes in the region – as well as Val Fex to the south, Val Roseg to the east and the Morteratsch Glacier, one of the largest in the eastern Alps.’
Your shopping go-to?
‘The whole centre is great – via Serlas is the main drag and has all the big luxury fashion names, including of course the Loro Piana store. And a regular pit stop for me is Drogaria Zysset in Samedan, where I buy all my aromatic plants and herbal teas. I’ll also browse at the family-run Wega bookshop, renowned for its wide range of stationery.’
Any ideas for day trips?
‘I often visit Guarda, a town to the north that’s known for its Gothic architecture, and a tiny cobbled village on the border with Italy. And it’s fun to ride the Bernina Express train, especially the route from Thusis to Tirano, which is a UNESCO World Heritage protected area with panoramic views of the Rhaetian Alps and the Landwasser Viaduct.’
What is the synergy between St Moritz and Loro Piana?
‘Many of Loro Piana’s creations were the result of the everyday wardrobe needs of my husband and I – we always loved to spend our free time surrounded by nature. The Icer and Icery jackets, for example, were inspired by our time here and the requirement for technical yet smart outerwear that would carry us from the ski slopes in the morning to aperitifs in town in the evening. The defining factor for all Loro Piana garments is versatility – it has to be suitable for every situation, whatever the conditions.’
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