Glass houses in the Dolomites: paradise or hell on earth?

Starlight Rooms in the Dolomites Photo: starlightroom.it

They are called ‘starlight rooms’, 5-star rooms made of glass and wood, set above an altitude of 1,600 metres in the Dolomites.

The rooms consist of cubes made of fir and larch wood whose walls and especially the ceiling are completely made of glass so you can literally sleep under the stars. The price per night is €700.

But they are struggling to get approval in the regional council. Since February 2023, the creation of these facilities is already possible but only if they are connected to existing structures. Approval might be a long way off for ‘starlight rooms’ built from scratch.

“There are 86 municipalities above 1,600 meters in Veneto so, even if there are only two per municipality, we are talking, potentially, about 172 new facilities”, said councilor, Andrea Zanoni who leads the opposition in the council adding that, “a bed under the stars is not enough, sewers and roads will also be needed to bring VIP tourists to the altitude, maybe pitches to land helicopters disturbing wildlife and bird migration. Between helicopters and generators to light the new structures, those who walk two to three hours to enjoy the silence and sounds of nature, will have a nasty surprise.

The regional urban planning law currently imposes an absolute ban on new construction above 1,600 meters with exceptions only for mountain huts, refuges and alpine bivouacs. It is now up to the regional council to decide whether the ‘starlight rooms’ can be classified as such.

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Written by

Kevin Fraser Park

Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.

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