St Moritz: The Scenic, Swiss Town

It’s almost magical. The hotels, the mountains, the models, the movie stars, the race car drivers. St. Mortiz opens our eyes to the triumph of resort living but also gives insight into the rich history of a place where sports, the arts, and adventure come together effortlessly. All of us await the day when we can visit.

The scenic views at St. Moritz.

But until we can, Assouline recently published a book called St. Mortiz Chic that helps take us there. The book features text by Dora Lardelli and a delightful assortment of pictures, of both St. Mortiz present and past. I enjoyed Giorgio Pace’s production; the images are unique and well-selected, including the many famous Olympic posters.

Sean Connery in the Swiss Alps while filming Goldfinger in 1964.

Assouline’s books continue to be a success. People like them because they are image-driven—who wouldn’t enjoy looking at pictures of beautiful celebrities in beautiful places—and because they are easy to digest. Surely, one of the world’s most glamorous towns is an agreeable topic of conversation.

A romantic horse-drawn sleigh ride through the winter wonderland that is St. Moritz.

On my brief previous visit to Switzerland, I had dipped my toes in the St. Moritz you hear the most about—the alpine town that allows you to ski in the morning and race down a bobsled track at 80 miles per hour later in the afternoon. (The architect Sir Norman Foster also enjoyed these kinds of thrills, and famously said, “St. Moritz is full of wonderful contrasts and contradictions—on the Cresta Run, you can hurl yourself on a metal sled down a tunnel of ice at the break of day after a night on the town.”) But there is also some sense of another more quiet and serene St. Mortiz, a land of peace and nature and discovery.

St. Moritz offers stunning views, especially in the winter.

Genuine adventure—whether that involves an adrenaline rush or relaxing exploration—requires a certain lack of planning and trust in happenstance. And St. Moritz has much to offer and get lost in, and it will be impossible to do and see everything in one visit. But if you do decide to make concrete plans, allow me to suggest one: arrive by train. Both the Bernina Express and the Glacier Express travel along a UNESCO World Heritage railway line, filled with tunnels and viaducts. It’s a journey you’ll never forget.
Perhaps you won’t get the chance to visit this season, but I’m sure you’ll have much fun exploring St. Mortiz Chic.

A snow-covered house peeking out from the trees.