Off we go – we’ll be waiting for you

We want to take our guests on a journey across our locations – stunning places, truth be told – by encouraging them to explore what lies outside, and nourishing beauty and the values we believe in, and which reside in each and every one of us.

Everything changes. Landscapes, situations – maybe only mentalities have a hard time changing. Just because we’ve done something for ages doesn’t mean we have to continue doing it. Our bodies change: mine surely has. Pineapples irritated my mouth, apricots made me congested, the mere sight of tomatoes gave me a rash, I loved avocado but it messed with my breathing, uncooked salad upset my stomach, and carrots made my throat itchy. White wine gave me reflux, raw fish caused my face to come out in an eczema flare, and I could only drink one coffee a day. As a kid, I was beset by relentless hay fever – I couldn’t run across the meadows. With time, my body adapted to the rhythm of nature. My allergies have practically vanished, I can drink up to five cups of coffee now, and if white wine gives me problems it’s only because it’s one I don’t like. And, with time, I’ve also changed mentality. Cinquecento paintings bored me, while now I’m enthralled before “The Calling of St Matthew” by Caravaggio. A finger, pointing to the world as though it were saying: you, yes, you, you’re not to blame for who you are: but you ARE responsible for what you do with it.

We should be able to question what we’ve done to be at ease with who we are. The issue is that superficiality, breakneck paces, indifference, our stubborn resistance to change conquers all – because, whether we like it or not, “things are fine the way they are” exerts its dominance over us. Yet taking the time to experience things first hand can improve us and allow us to commune with God or Nature. A remedy to make our bodies and minds more beautiful? Sitting on a freshly cut meadow, walking among these old larches and their red buds which will soon become pinecones. Admiring a black grouse singing during mating season is quite different from sitting on your couch admiring your smartphone blaring shows with fascists spouting nonsense about races and ethnicities. I feel like I can truly be and find myself among the Tuscan hills or climbing up a Dolomites’ wall. I am truly me, and I’m part of nature.

This vital contact with nature spark sensations which are more than the sum of what I am. Emotions that communicate with one another and soar into the sky. Nature nourishes me – undiluted, pretention-free lifeforce. Earth uses my body to communicate with lives which are so different from ours. The rocky wall, plants, stones, clay, flowers: a touch, a caress which leaves its mark on them as they leave their mark on you. A marriage of sorts, which coexists in a heavenly, out-of-this-world dimension, and creates a universe of harmony. A solitary experience which, paradoxically, makes me feel more alive than ever. The unknown doesn’t frighten me because it’s part of me within this cosmic experience. That’s how I understand the intimate relationship between myself and nature.

Humanity has felt lost more than it has known who it is, blinded by consumption and, therefore, must undergo a radical transformation. Humanity must become like a forest or rock, a flower or fruit, a storm or hurricane. In the Zen school of thought, “union” is a byword for returning home, a reboot to an original state which has been lost. I’m convinced my body has changed, helped or pushed on by nature. Then again, I still need to be cautious with certain foods – I can’t deal with more than a dozen oysters and a bottle of champagne, but other than that? I’m at peace with my body and nature. My long hikes, climbs, and hugging trees are a balm for body and soul. They continue changing my body. From insensitive, allergic, refractory it has, over time, become more open, receptive, welcoming. As the body, so the mind.

We want to take our guests on a journey across our locations – stunning places, truth be told – by encouraging them to explore what lies outside, and nourishing beauty and the values we believe in, and which reside in each and every one of us. All this can rebalance the body, washing away allergies, intolerances, or negative influences. We hope that whoever reads us doesn’t come here simply to relax and unwind, but that they be given the opportunity of sharing something important. And that means sharing the difference between what is ephemeral and eternal. A ‘poem of life’, if you will, which sets the body – our blood and flesh – against a society which loves abstractions, bodiless concepts, and values. Our body, our wounds, our worries march on, banishing the ethereal ghosts of modernity to rediscover how our Earth breathes and, as we do so, rediscover how we breathe, too. Off we go – we’ll be waiting for you.


Michil Costa