Back in the day….

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Diavolezza has opened up for the first intrepid skiers to greet the new snow and meanwhile, further down in the valley, nestled above St Moritz itself there is a treasure trove of memorabilia that few are aware of, a truly glorious private collection.

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I first met Danco Motti late this summer, when Marinda Hauser took me up to see his family’s edelweiss cultivation. Mr Motti, whose family have inhabited these mountains for generations, has a passion for collecting the original tools which his ancestors would have used. This interest led him to collecting larger relics until he found himself with a barn stuffed to the gunnels with everything from ancient nails and hammers to harnesses and full blown carriages.

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Eventually Mr Motti had to clear out two huge barns which he refurbished and then painstakingly set out to fill with his beautiful collections. He showed us walls of various chisels and picks, shelves filled with glass cases containing miniature carriages, more walls hanging with bridles, harnesses and well polished bells. Further on there was a room filled with various saws for wood through to ice, a collection of jugs and pots and an entire room dedicated to lovingly refurbished carriages. There were postal carriages, private carriages and carriages that belonged to specific hotels. A truly eye-popping collection which barely anyone ever gets to see other than Mr Motti and his family and friends!

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I felt honoured to have been shown into this world that had taken a step back into time and showcased how the original settlers of these rugged mountains had developed their skills and the tools required to do so. Even the fancy carriages with their leather coverings and faded velour interiors told a fabulous story of battling the cold conditions in style!

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