While it’s undoubtful that Sainkt Moritz is probably one of the most renowned ski resorts, I wonder many people don’t even know what Celerina is. A couple of kilometres off Sainkt Moritz, it is a tiny municipality consisting of the haufendorf village of Celerina (Schlarigna in the local Romanci dialect) and the hamlet of Crasta in the Oberengadin sub-district of the Maloja district.
Compared to Sainkt Moritz Celerina is much smaller, has just a few hotels and restaurants, basically no shops except for ski equipments and gears, a supermarket and a bakery. As regards Alpine ski runs from Celerina you can reach the 2278mt high Marguns shelter and from there you will only be spoilt for choice. If you’re fond of Nordic ski, when the trees are covered in snow the San Gian circuit offers one of the most suggestive landscapes I’ve seen in my life.
But the most peculiar thing about Celerina is that it’s kind of a Milan Colony. Strolling around Celerina is like taking a walk in your Campus dormitory, there’s somebody you know just around every other corner.
I wasn’t quite in the position to fully notice (and possibly even appreciate) this characteristic until I moved to Lugano. As long as I lived in Milan I wasn’t so particularly keen on meeting at the Mountains just the same people I regularly met at home actually and then I’ve never really been the life of the party, if you know what I mean 😏… Then we moved to Lugano. Last year we didn’t come to the mountains at all so this year, when we came back, I could hardly believe how happy I was to meet people I have been knowing forever after an abstinence as short as 12 months!
The only problem is that my sight is no longer very sharp I’m afraid, so I happened to cheer also a couple of perfect strangers that I mistaken for somebody else. But to all my old friends who may accidentally read my blog (and I seriously hope they do), if you see me around and I don’t seem to recognise you, please stop me! you have no idea how happy I am to see you all guys!
However, if any of you have never been in Engadina yet and decide to opt for the more family-friendly evironment of Celerina, these are my suggestions. You can chose among a few 4 star hotels: CRESTA PALACE (http://www.crestapalace.ch/ Via Maistra 75) and MISANI (http://www.hotelmisani.ch/ higher on Via Maistra) and CHESA ROSATSCH (http://www.hotelrosatsch.ch/ no. 7 Via San Gian). The CRESTA is the typical “old style” mountain hotel (it kind of reminds me the one in “Shining” actually) with huge halls, a very effective “kid entertainment” service and a SPA. There’s also a gym (but a friend told me they only have one treadmill and however she was ecstatic about the kid entertainment). The MISANI is modern and sleeker and definitely more “fashionable”, but if you are in pursuit of sleek and fashionable things I really can’t see what the point is in going to Celerina 🤔. Finally the CHESA ROSATSCH – located close to the Nordic ski circuit of San Gian – is worth mentioning for its 2 restaurants STÜVE ROSATSCH and UONDAS, which I both like very much. A few meters from the ski lift, at Chesa La Veglia Margna, the owners of the Tagliabues, the family of Italian ski teachers in Celerina, opened CHALET SPECIALE (http://www.chaletspeciale.com/index.htm, no. 9 Via Chalchera) that is a small hotel and restaurant. I was there yesterday for lunch and I liked it. I recommend the hamburger. I particularly love the 3 star hotel and restaurant ARTURO (http://www.hotel-arturo-celerina.ch/, 94 via Maistra) because of its kind and cheerful staff. Beside having very reasonable prices they offer raclette and fondue almost on a regular basis.
Among the restaurants, further to those mentioned above, for those who love ice skating or just eating al fresco, at Via Maistra, right on the ice rink, there’s LA PIRUETTA (http://www.lapiruetta.ch/) that also offers free wi fi connection and many tables in the sun. A few meters away, at no. 80 Via Maistra, you can find LA PERLA which is also nice. Finally at San Gian there’s the Pizzeria San Gian that has a nice terrace to eat al fresco.
Three ski schools: for nordic ski the place is the Langlaufzentrum at San Gian. Very good teachers (very patient I can assure), you can rent all the gear directly there (http://it.langlaufzentrum-celerina.ch/). Then there’s the Swiss Skischule (http://www.skischool.ch/), red jacket teachers all nationalities, I took snowboard lessons there and can assure they’re very patient too, even though my career as a snowboarder has never really taken off, so to speak. For kids I would recommend the Tagliabue family’s Scuola Speciale (http://www.scuolascispeciale.it/), blue jacket mainly Italian teachers, further to the ordinary ski school (including alpine and Nordic ski, snowboard and ice skating) they also organise summer camps, tennis and climbing classes for kids and – for competitive kids – the highly craved ski club. The Almighty C. is not the game.
And if after all this you fall in love with Celerina and want to buy or rent a house turn to Luminosa De Natale (http://www.engadinaluminosa.com/en/index.html) and she’ll work it out for you.