Whatever the sky was offering on that exact day, was a weather forecast par excellence. But the merciless nature of raindrops was cut by a telephone call from the hotel reception. Exciting news travelled almost instantly to the fifth floor, and it took the same amount of time for me to come down in my bathrobe. There was no time to change. Well protected through layers of cardboard and who would have thought, the content of this shipment travelled several thousand kilometres in the past 24 hours from the North of Europe. ‘I sign’. And just before I spin on my heels, a short message. It’s silver, parked in the garage, key safely guarded at the concierge’s desk. It seems the day can begin.
Grand Hotel Savoia
Grand Hotel Savoia has smoothly dropped it’s rooted just a few dozen meters before a large sign prohibits all vehicles movement. City centre of Cortina d’Ampezzo is a pedestrian zone. A few years ago the hotel underwent a rejuvenation program and now it’s once again a pearl in the crown of this chic and mundane Queen of the Dolomites. A large driveway is a place where cars stop, some people exit from them, some enter into them. The effectiveness of bellboys and staff makes this ceremony especially ingratiating and entertaining to observe, of course, guests greet on each other as well. The sole purpose of it being a show-off who is furrier and richer. Albeit, in the next few days, I am not a sole observer but an active comrade in graciousness, respect and tactful acts where bows, shoulder tapping and champagne sips are at it’s fullest. Wherever we meet in town, restaurant, ski ground or events, we well know we all fall asleep under the same roof on Via Roma 62. The purpose of this mid-February visit where we are greeted by a few meters of snow is more or less one. The annual Show Polo.
I honestly believe the gesture of being offered a driver was of noble character, but I also honestly believe I am capable of manoeuvring this flagship on my own. I cautiously change gear to reverse, a large display portrays whatever camera sees behind the vehicle, while peoples faces tell they are waiting with surprise what will emerge from this calamity when a woman is found behind the steering wheel of a Maserati. I touch the throttle, four exhaust pipes give the speed of sound notion while five meters of coachwork leaps backwards toward the hotel entrance. Glass wall, The Great Gatsby’s of Apennine peninsula, lackeys, aphonic furs of madams, all seems trapped into a slow-motion of imminent. Nothing happens. I slowly exit the car, excuse myself for forgetting to leave the key of my suite and place it into the hands of a concierge boss. He is the one with two crossed keys on his chest. I smile and am gone with the wind into a few kilometres away Fiames. A monumental scene which would make me a Roza Luxemburg cherished one hundred years ago has its thanks in the SQ4 sign. Meaning all four-wheel grab simultaneously, regardless of slippery snow and ice surfaces. Quattroporte in my case is equipped with a 3-litre V6 and a turbine and nothing indicates the Modena tridents have lost any of its tremendously glorious sound attitudes.
Fashion On The Slopes
Front of the entrance to the pavilion surrounding the snow stadium is packed, cars are being sent to other distant parking, a policeman is flaunting gestured. I drive straight towards him, ask about catalogue delivery for the exhibitor and in the next minute the sleek ‘’four-door’’ is parked conveniently in the entrance vicinity. Now it’s for real. Today’s polo finale will be a fashion panoply. A fur coat would have been a safe bet, but young and daring is in my genetic code. I’m dressed into a mid-length coat by a finish handcraft Duohta Vuohta made of compressed wool, reindeer leather and wild raccoon. An unusual handbag is derived from these same Arctic gifts of nature. My feet are wrapped in Kandahar, a Swiss manufacture high boots covered in goat hair while on the inside warm sheep yarn. All these were the contents of that enormous package delivered to the reception. All I can hope for now is not to lose balance on the slippery doorway floor. A pass on a golden piece of material is around my neck in a jiffy, as confirmed, my name is on the list. I am in the main saloon now and I almost bump into Vivian. We’ve met the night earlier on a cocktail event honouring polo players and she insisted she has to bring something, a gift. Herself, she is amongst the people who actually mean something around here, a status of being a renowned jeweller and an event partner. She places a velvety texture in my hands. White pearls and symbols of polo are a skeleton of this necklace dignifying this tournament. I’ve lost words. She gives me a hug and runs to the front row. In the meantime penalties take place. The snow is too soft and to avoid any injuries, this alternative is the only way to determine this year’s winner. Tormenting moments are pierced with exclamations and sighs. Each strike doesn’t end with a goal. Victory goes to U.S. Polo ASSN Team and amidst this fury, I find myself on top of their shoulders with a winner’s cup in my hands.
The remainder of the day is less dramatic. I don’t attend the gala dinner but rather the infamous Cristallo Spa. A relaxing treatment and skin rejuvenation returns mimic into the facial plastics. Champagne and cold have partly paralyzed my face or at least it felt so. Wrapped into a thick warm bathrobe I glance the valley succumbing to infinite small lights, the centre of Cortina much more lit as the hills surrounding. The view is amazing. The happening of past few days passes my mind, much has occurred. A gentle whisper wakes me from daydreaming, it’s Graziella del Plato, Spa manager. She wonders whether I would like an emulsion of youth formula applied to my skin. I thank her politely, all I need is waiting for me in the hotel suite just in front of the big bathroom mirror. An extract of three mountain herbs, dwelling in high Alp altitudes below freezing temperatures. The essences have been masterfully used in the new, La Prairie says revolutionary, Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal series. A few drops of Dry Oil and an intoxicating texture covers my neck, my bust, face. Tomorrow I’ll be young again. Tomorrow when I ride the mountain, Tofana, ski boots on the newest Elan Amphibio gliding on polished snow. For me, this feeling will be the closest I can get to horses ridden on snow. But for that, one needs a different type of a hoof.
- Grand Hotel Savoia, from 260 EUR
- Maserati Quattroporte SQ4 – 143.000 EUR
- Duohta Vuohta Aksovaara/Nellim/Rovvideva/Angeli – 12.500/4.600/2.900/2.000 EUR
- Kandahar Alpina/St. Moritz – 820 CHF/1.000 CHF
- Secret Vivian necklace – never ask how much a gift costs
- Cristallo Spa, Perfecting Face 80min – 220 EUR
- La Prairie Swiss Ice Cristal Dry Oil 30ml – 267 EUR
- Elan Fusion Amphibio 14 – 750 EUR
- Snow Polo spectacle – free