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Onward to Italy…

Monday morning, we woke up to clear skies and the prospect of driving to Italy. I was a little sorry to be leaving Leutasch, although I did hope our next hotel would have a bed with a softer mattress. The one at Hotel Kristall was pretty firm. We packed up our stuff, had another breakfast, and checked out of the hotel. One thing I didn’t mention in previous posts is that Hotel Kristall has a “Zumo” machine. I first encountered a Zumo machine in Spain. You load up fresh oranges into the machine and it makes delicious fresh squeezed orange juice. That was another thing I loved about our Austrian hotel. They also had a machine for carrot juice, but I didn’t try that. Since I prepaid the hotel, we only had to take care of the bar bill. With that settled, the receptionist gave us a small jar of housemade marmalade as a parting gift and we were then on our way to Parcines, Italy and Klein Fein Hotel Anderlahn. The last words I said as we left Hotel Kristall in Leutasch were, “What a great hotel!” I would definitely go back.

Parcines, Italy, also known as Partschins to German speakers, is well known for its waterfall. However, I didn’t know about the waterfall when I booked the hotel. I was just looking for a nice spa/wellness hotel to spend four nights. My German friend was the one who told me about the waterfall, which I understand is very beautiful. Unfortunately, we were not able to see it up close because although the waterfall is public property, the land around it is not. During the pandemic, the owner of the land around the waterfall decided to put up a fence. So now, if visitors try to get close to the falls, they are trespassing. Based on comments on Google reviews, the landowner is now engaged in legal action regarding this situation.

Still, some people were able to make videos of the falls before they became less accessible. Here’s a video I found on YouTube.

It was disappointing that we couldn’t see this up close…

Our drive to Parcines was easy enough, with lots of nice scenery and a familiar trip through Brenner’s Pass. I took some photos, of course. The drive from Leutasch was maybe about three or four hours, so we arrived in Parcines in time for lunch.

We got to the hotel at about noon. Our room was ready, so the very kind receptionist, who was also the wine sommelier and bartender, as well as the proprietor’s son, welcomed us to check in early. We had another junior suite. It overlooked one of the three pools at the hotel. When we checked in, no one was using the pool. I remarked my surprise about that, and Janek, the barkeep said, “That’s because everyone’s out hiking. Trust me. They’re going to use it!” I should have realized what was to come. That pool was to be used by the kids, as the hotel also has an infinity pool for people aged 15 and up. There’s also an indoor pool in the spa area.

Like our room in Austria, the room in Parcines came with half board and a small fridge. We could order the fridge filled with beer and such, or just use it on its own. Like Leutasch, Parcines offers a lot, especially to people who are into hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, or swimming. Once again, we were allowed into the hotel without a mask. They were only required for the buffet, although we did not have to wear gloves, as we did in Leutasch. But then, Leutasch didn’t require masks. Like I mentioned before, the mask and glove requirements are oddly different everywhere we’ve been this summer. In Meerfeld, Germany, last month, we had to wear masks in the restaurant and at the buffet and Bill had to wear gloves to see the wine list, because it was in a book. In Austria we had to wear gloves, but no masks. In Italy, masks, but no gloves… and in Switzerland, no gloves OR masks. More on that later.

Since it was close to lunchtime when we arrived, we decided to have lunch at a pizzeria in town, which we were able to walk to. Weirdly enough, the pizzeria doesn’t offer pizza until after five o’clock. Maybe it’s because the oven is too hot for daytime use? I don’t know. Parcines has a couple of little shops. I noticed a shoe store and a tiny grocery store. There’s also a Weingut within walking distance of the hotel. The town has a lot of little hotels and apartments for rent.

After lunch, we walked back to the hotel, and sure enough, people were in the pool. We decided to join them. First, we checked out the indoor spa pool, which was empty. A little boy kept peeking in on us as we swam in there. I suspect it was because the kids kind of commandeered that pool, too, as I discovered over the course of the week.

When we got back to the room, the kids were back and in full play mode. Unfortunately, there is no air conditioning in this hotel, so we had to leave the window/door open for cool air. But that also meant listening to shrieking from the kids and, later on, people on the patio drinking, laughing, and enjoying themselves. Don’t get me wrong! I am all for doing those things. But I also like to take naps and enjoy peace and quiet when I’m in my room. If this hotel had air conditioning and we could have closed the door to the balcony, it would have been a lot better for us.

Later, we went down for our first dinner at the Klein Fein Hotel Anderlahn. It was “Italian night”, and we’d made our selections when we checked in. Bill had saltimbocca– veal wrapped with bacon– and I went with the vegetarian dish– mozzarella cheese in a pastry with tomato sauce. We enjoyed aperitifs before dinner started at 7:00pm, and met the very friendly proprietor, who spoke only German and Italian, but was kind and welcoming.

I think of all the dinners we had at this hotel, our first one was my favorite. To be very honest, I wasn’t all that crazy about the food at the Klein Fein Hotel Anderlahn. It wasn’t the worst I’d ever had, but I would say it was kind of disappointing, especially for Italy. Although this hotel gets high ratings, the one bad review it got was by someone who didn’t like the food. While I wouldn’t go as far as that person did in their criticisms, I did think there was definitely some room for improvement in the culinary department. I’ll get more into why in the next post. But anyway, Monday night’s dinner was mostly fine.

Once again, we got some side-eyes from the many Germans who were also staying at the hotel. That’s another thing I don’t like about half board deals. You end up eating with the same people and it can be uncomfortable, especially during a pandemic, when you’re an American and Americans aren’t supposed to be in Italy. We felt a little bit under the microscope at this hotel. However, the staff was excellent. Again, it’s family run. The facilities are also very nice. I just wish they’d planned a bit better regarding the rooms over the patio area (which are many of them). If you don’t want to hang out and drink after dinner, you either have to wait for everyone to go to bed for quiet or swelter with closed windows/doors. It’s not a very appealing tradeoff. I think I’d like this hotel more in the cooler months.

One guest’s opinions about the hotel. I wouldn’t go as far as a one star rating, but I did kind of agree with what s/he wrote. I don’t mind buffets, but I thought the food could have been better.

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