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TERRA THE MAGIC PLACE is situated in the picturesque Sarentino valley in South Tyrol, where Italy borders Austria in the north, surrounded by the majestic Dolomite mountain range. In 1998, siblings Heinrich and Gisela Schneider took over the family business, established by their grandfather as an Alpine inn, and remade it into a luxury getaway for gourmet travelers. Heinrich oversees the restaurant; Gisela, a fully qualified sommelier, curates the wine offerings; and Gisela’s partner, Karl Manfredi, handles marketing and development. As seen in everything from the architecture to the culinary program, their overarching aesthetic is one of regional traditions reimagined in new and exciting ways—organic, cosmopolitan, and creative. The building is rendered in warm woods and textural stone and is punctuated by large windows that showcase spectacular views from the restaurant, rooms, and common areas. Accommodations include eight regular rooms and two suites, each reflecting a modern minimalism that is also cozy and comfortable. 

The fresh Alpine air beckons visitors to head outdoors to horseback ride, rock climb, ski, or hike. Intrepid trekkers will definitely want to visit the famous “Stone Men,” a series of ancient rock cairns that dot a hilltop high above the valley. The historic town of Bolzano, known for its food markets, is a forty-minute drive to the south. Terra also features a full-service spa, with offerings that include relaxing soaks, soothing herbal steam baths, invigorating facials, and rejuvenating massage. Although a self-taught chef, Heinrich has built Terra’s restaurant into an unmatched gastronomic experience, a two-Michelin-star homage to the surrounding “terra” and its culinary gifts. He regularly forages the surrounding environs in search of edible herbs and mushrooms, which he incorporates along with other local foodstuffs into breakfast and dinner dishes that are as creative as they are soulful and satisfying. Gisela, who has amassed a wine list topping 1,000 bottles, welcomes guests into the upstairs wine vault to make their dinnertime choices—or she’ll be happy to make them for you. Either way, your meal will be an event.  

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