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Glamping

This summer I spent a weekend in an ecological park on the Panaro river, in the province of Modena, called OZ BEACH.

The great thing is that at night guests sleep in various types of tents, in our case this very large one. There is one resident who stays in an Indian tent, and soon they should build a yurt.

It’s a type of holiday called glamping, or glamorous camping.

I’ve always been fascinated by alternative dwellings, starting with the wooden houses that used to be typical in countries like Norway and Japan, and then were gradually abandoned because of the danger of fire.

Sooner or later I would like to sleep in a tree house, as many of us dreamed of as children. Calvino’s The Rampant Baron described the tree house as an archetype of escape, a refuge in mother earth from quarrels with a family that does not understand us; but more generally, a refuge from the aberrations of the city and a society too complex to accommodate our needs. Today, suspended houses are the new destinations for luxury tourism immersed in nature, sleeping and living raised off the ground, at the same height as the branches and leaves, far from the hustle and bustle and for once truly light.

In the province of Pordenone in the Friulian Dolomites, the Tree Village has been created, an entire village offering tree suites. Many treehouses can be found on Airbnb, including a transparent one in Florence and a more rural one in Monferrato. In the United States and Australia there is the Association of Nature Forest Therapy, which guides visitors through the Japanese practice of Shirin-yoku, or “bathing in the forest”, which is also the subject of a book by Qing Li published in Italy by Rizzoli. There are bio-researchers who have confirmed the beneficial chemical effects of contact with trees on our health, due to volatile molecules in the leaves called monoterpenes. There is also talk of a Bioenergetic Landscape, i.e. a mapping that can be done of the presence and quality of the electromagnetic fields emitted by trees. This awareness has made it possible to develop forest bathing rings in the Oasi Zegna, and in the Fai della Paganella forest.

Then there are projects such as the Tree tents trekking of the ForestAlp guides, linked to the rebirth of the territory. The Road Alert Group, on the other hand, a group of British activists, has set up tents suspended in the trees of the Sibillini Mountains and the Apennines to reactivate conscious tourism in the areas hit by the earthquake. An itinerant campsite that leaves no environmental footprint. It also reawakens our ancestral but dormant relationship with wilderness.

The report Gli italiani, il Turismo Sostenibile e l’Ecoturismo (Italians, Sustainable Tourism and Ecotourism) published in September 2018 by Fondazione Univerde and IPR Marketing talks about this whole ecotourism phenomenon.

Another construction that I can see us using for glamping is the geodesic dome, i.e. the architectural form closest to a sphere that can be obtained with non-spherical materials:

The site dedicated to geodesic domes, as well as many pictures like this one and explanations, quotes a phrase by Kepler: “The Omniscient One created the world of magnitudes whose unitary being is contained in the difference between the straight line and the curved line”. There is, of course, also a kit for making your own.

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