The Tower Rizzi, with drawbridge, indoor pool and astronomical observatory

Tower Chalet Rizzi in South TyrolSimone met us in a traditional restaurant, midway up the hill: above us, we can see the overhanging tower Rizzi.

Tower Chalet Rizzi in South TyrolWe are in altitude in northern Italy, and I am finally going to discover this unique "South Tyrol’s tower in the sky" of the 20th century, that defies the weightlessness, the realized life dream of Mr. Walter Rizzi.

"My father wanted to live in a castle: he gave carte blanche to the architect, Werner Tscholl, well known for his bold creativity. It took seven years to build the house. Some building parts were monumental, I remember the trucks that had to stop at each bend and to manœuvre a number of times. The stones have been cut by three master stonemasons, each with their own stone shape, that is their signature. Master crafstmen do not have to change under construction, unless the wall is not homogeneous."

"The authorities imposed strict conditions: the building had to be aesthetic first and blend thoroughly into the landscape. Choices about the materials, stone, wood, glass and metal structure have been meticulously worked out and validated. As the house is round, the furniture had to be custom-made. The house was completed in 1997 and dedicated by the abbot of Marienberg Monastory, Bruno Trauner."

We reached the house, Simone lowered the drawbridge and we entered: the façade toward the road is of dressed stones and the other half with large picture windows. The pool is on the ground floor, the astronomical observatory on the fourth floor, lounge, kitchen and rooms are in between, and everywhere we admire the art collection of Walter Rizzi.

In the early hours of the next morning, my initial reaction was to look at the panorama: the mountain in front of me, small points of light in the valley at my feet, the village was waking up.

Photos © Tower Chalet Rizzi
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