This is not a cliché.

February 2015

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Wednesday,
04 February 2015

Famiglia Costa

A day without a smile is a day lost.

“The smiles of the Costa family are radiant. The smiles are contagious, resassuring, and foster a sense of easy calm. “

Perhaps it is just a thing of Ladin legend but it really does seem to me that the Costa family have always in some way been associated with Charlie Chaplin. Remember that one of the mottos of that comic great was ‘A day without smiling is a day lost’. Little coincidence is it that this ability to smile is a principal features of the Costa family, and I refer to the parents and their children and to the wives of the children and to their children too. The smiles they give out are radiant. The smiles are contagious, in some way resassuring, and foster a sense of easy calm.
Ernesto’s smile is one of pure energy, fresher than milk can be, fresher than freshly cut hay, as firm as icy snow. It is a smile which roars, a little like the engine of a Guzzi Falcone, and is one which commands respect. Annie’s smile is more of a caress, sobre and perfumed in nature and all to do with peace and harmony. It reminds of a flowing torrent on the warmest of summer days. Michil’s smile is outgoing and outreaching– it has all to do with space and depth and profound reflection, it calls out to nearby Sassongher and to the distant Tibet. It is a smile of liberty, a knowing smile which informs. The smile of Mathias is full of secure communication, it remains with you as you make your way and makes things seem even surer than they might actually be, like traversing a snowy way with great confidence. A strong, firm, genuine handshake without any ‘side’ is what comes to mind. Maximilian’s smile is a refreshing and open one, and has a dreamlike quality – those pleasant dreams which when you wake you remember willingly. It is a genuine smile which boasts of happy times, of coffee, toasted bread and marmalade too!
The effect of a smile stays with you. When one of the Costa family wishes you a ‘good day’ you know that you are more than likely to have a good day. The energy they transmit is always positive and it impacts you. So much so that a times you begin to ask what you have done to deserve such honour being bestowed upon you. And rhen soon after you reflect that we simple folk are are not used to simple straightforward sentiment for we frequent a world in which first one learns to negotiate first and only later on to give. It seems at times that if we are not in the thrust of some frantic metropolitan vortex and ‘forced’ to stay in the beautiful settings created we feel unfulfilled and almost lost. It is as if we are taken in as in TV commercials where we are obliged to respond to the standards given. And this is also why we ourlselves search for sone sanity in the high mountains, and what better place than at the foot of the Dolomites, in the land of Ladin culture where a warm welcome and hospitality is the order of the day. After all is said and done, even if we have spectacular ambitions such as scaling mountains and traversing rivers, what we truly search is a place where body and mind are at ease.
And it is here on these meadows of Col Alt, looking up to Sassongher, that there is certainly such a place, one where a great family resides, they aware of what they give every day to contribute towards the wellbeing of this mountain home. The real strength in their vocation is that there is never a smile either banal nor false, and always a smile which seems always to say “ Today is the first day of the rest of our lives so let’s make sure indeed that it is a good day – a happy day, a simple day, an enjoyable day’’. Well said indeed family Costa!

Francesco Ricci