Weather turns against us again so we decide to take a day off from skiing and head south. Our destination is Bozen, Italy, where we will visit friends at Salewa’s new corporate headquarters. But first, a walk through the old part of town.
Tourissmo: Mr. and Mrs. WildSnow take off their ski boots. Originally established by Romans in 15 BC, taken over by Bavarians in 700 AD, and annexed by Italy in the 1920s, Bozen (Bolzano if you're Italiano) is an interesting mix of wurst and vino.
Lou looks a bit out of place in his bright red rain shell. I duck in a shop to buy him black casual wear but he swipes my credit card faster than the clerk. Good to have someone around to protect the travel budget.
At one of many sidewalk cafes, we have lunch with fragrant Wisteria drooping lovely over us.
After our leisurely lunch, we walk a few paces before stopping for a caffè. An afternoon serving is a ceremonial formality: the caffè is served with a small silver spoon to the right. I splurge and order something fancy. Squisito!
Bolzano's Piazza dell'Erbe: fresh produce, nuts, meat and cheese: a daily celebration of what's in season.
Gypsy street person or style police? Lou hides safely behind a Fiat. Note the distinct lack of bright red clothing on the locals.
Bozen is a bike town with many nice road tours in the area. Next time we'll bring our wheels along.
This beauty caught my eye. Italy, the land of design and good taste.
Lisa and Lou outside Salewa corporate headquarters. We tried to think of an equivalent to these guys in the U.S. Perhaps you'd combine REI with Black Diamond, or something like that. Quite interesting to see the outdoor gear industry taken to this level. Pluses and minuses of course, but overall Salewa seems to be doing what they do with lots of skill and grace. When the CEO works on the grapes in his own vineyard, how could it be otherwise?
Reflecting the mountains in a silhouette of giant rock crystals: HQ
Sipping our tenth espresso of the day, we 'relax' at the employee coffee shop and watch the wall. This is how they climb the corporate ladder at Salewa. Not unlike some of the other outdoor companies around the world where how you climb is as important as how well you rock a spreadsheet.
Two football fields of rooftop photovoltaic panels generate twice as much power as the buildings need.
A typical cubicle for a Salewa desk jockey. Doesn't look that bad. There's also a fitness center, childcare facility, free-of-charge electric recharging station for hybrid vehicles, park with pond and bistro, cafeteria serving local foods, and espresso machines around every corner.
Outdoor indoor climbing walls are open to the public as well as employees.
Inside HQ. Is Glen Plake everywhere?
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