The Engadine Valley is a characteristic and fascinating mountain valley located in Switzerland, and more specifically in the Grisons Canton.
During the winter period it is renowned as the cradle of several skiing resorts that are particularly esteemed by tourists all over the world, one of the most famous and luxurious of which is St. Moritz.
Even during the warmest seasons, however, this area has always been a perfect destination for lovers of nature and of excursions at high altitude. Those who have come under the spell of the Engadine Valley include many figures from the worlds of art and literature, such as Marcel Proust, Hermann Hesse, Marc Chagall and Friedrich Nietzsche.
Indeed, Nietzsche spent every summer between 1883 and 1888 here to treat his ill health: he rented a modest room in Sils-Maria, a village just 10km from St. Moritz, on the edge of the forest, to find the peace and concentration that he required. After just a few weeks, his love for the splendid panoramas and the quiet of the mountains led him to define Sils-Maria the “most comfortable place in the world” and to wish that he should never have to leave the small village.
The favourite activity of one of the most important philosophers of all time consisted in breath-taking strolls along mule tracks and paths, which led him deep into the forest for many kilometres.
It was during one of these walks that Nietzsche was struck by the inspiration for one of his masterpieces, “Thus spake Zarathustra”, one of his most beloved and famous books.
Today it is possible to visit the house of the German philosopher, which has become a museum, and retrace the same paths on which he reflected during the 1800s. You can reach Lake Silvaplana and find the pyramid-shaped rock which gave him the sensation of eternal recurrence and where he imagined a man capable of living beyond good and evil, with no ties or inhibitions. You can also go further, towards the Corvatsch glacier, and admire the Engadine valley in its entirety, among lakes, peaks and gorges.
And after a romantic stroll back in time you can stop for refreshment in one of the many locales of the area. Indeed, a culinary stop to taste the specialities of the area is unmissable: from typical cured meats to alpine cheeses, and – to finish – a taste of the characteristic rhododendron honey and traditional desserts.
The Engadine valley therefore offers a complete experience to those who visit, and it’s no surprise that many people have fallen in love with the area throughout history – and continue to do so today.