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Lechtal Tourismus - Christoph Moosbrugger

Guido Degaspari

Life has already given Guido Degasperi from Elbigenalp a few lemons. But he has always managed to turn them into lemonade. If you talk to Guido, you quickly realize that he has often had to break out of his so-called comfort zone and has also taken rocky paths in life.

guido_degaspari

Guido was born on 22.11.1948 in Elbigenalp as the youngest of 4 children. "I was the youngest and actually no longer planned," he smiles as he thinks back.

His childhood and youth have undoubtedly left their mark on him. He likes to talk about his loving yet strict mother. "As the daughter of an officer, my mom naturally enjoyed a very authoritarian and disciplined upbringing. Accordingly, there was a certain order at home. Nevertheless, the relationship with my mom was very loving and cordial," says Guido.

Chamber of Wonders Elbigenalp

On the other hand, he has always suffered under his strict and distant father. "My father was a patriarch who did not allow any other opinion. We were 4 children and I was the youngest. The oldest two siblings were allowed to study and attended higher schools. My father quickly dismissed my dream of becoming an interior designer and ultimately got me an apprenticeship as a cook/waiter," Guido continues, sipping a glass of white wine. "There was always something going on at our house, we had visitors every day and the door was always open. My parents were excellent hosts and I always liked to bake cakes when I was growing up. "So I guess my father thought I would be better off in the hospitality industry," he continues. But training as a cook/waiter at the then Hotel 3 Mohren in Lermoos (now Hotel Mohr Life) actually didn't hurt him either. Guido quickly felt at home in the kitchen and in service, and after 4 years of apprenticeship, Guido was even employed in his training company for another 10 years. Soon after, a tempting offer beckoned him to become a restaurant manager. But nothing came of it, because Guido's mother fell seriously ill and had to be cared for. He took heart and came back home to Lechtal to support his mother and also his father. "I certainly wouldn't be living in the Lech Valley today and my life would probably have been very different if I hadn't taken over the care of my mother back then," Guido continues.

Tradition alpine pasture drive in Elbigenalp

If Guido's life had taken a different path, however, the Lech Valley would definitely be poorer by one valuable person. Guido Degasperi is an icon and a true legend. Guido is well known in the Lech Valley, not least thanks to his iconic restaurant "Zur Geierwally". He fulfilled his dream of owning his own inn in 1976. At that time, the small restaurant was still called "St. Urban Stube", which was then expanded over the years to become the current restaurant "Zur Geierwally". But the Urban Stube remained and is today a cozy little pub including the small "Anton Falger Stube". Those who know Guido's restaurant know that the term "restaurant" is actually not the only definition for this popular meeting place in Elbigenalp. The Gaststube is, in fact, a small museum full of valuable antiques steeped in history. You simply can't help but also take a look at the Geierwally and the history of the Lech Valley while enjoying a good meal. Guido pays special attention to details and decoration. He drapes embroidered cushions on the benches, crocheted lace curtains hang from the windows, and the tables are set with white tablecloths and fine china. He loves antiques and rarities and he knows how to use these things decoratively as well as lovingly in his restaurant.

Guido himself is also a walking local history book. He has always absorbed the history of the Lech Valley and always embarks on a journey through time in his stories, during which he seems to literally take his listeners along with him. It is not without reason that Guido is the figurehead of the museum "Wunderkammer" in Elbigenalp. As the founder of the Lechtaler Trachtenverein, which he started in 1991, he is also a cultural all-rounder and a passionate advocate of the precious and probably most beautiful traditional costume of the Alpine region, namely the Lechtaler Tracht. Guido is not easily fooled. He knows exactly which hat to wear with which blouse, and how a traditional embroidery of gold and silver threads should look. At the regular performances of the Trachtenverein, the perfectionist also still has an eye on the respective choreography. And if he has to, he will gladly leave his restaurant closed during important traditional events. Then you can meet Guido and his "bees", as he affectionately calls his Lechtaler Trachtenfrauen, at the most beautiful parades in the region and also beyond its borders. For his services to Tyrolean customs, Guido has already been awarded the Medal of Merit of the Province of Tyrol and the Golden Tyrolean Association Pin.

Chamber of Wonders Elbigenalp

In addition to his passion as a restaurateur and club man, Guido is first and foremost a family man and father of two children. His son Florian and his daughter Katharina are his everything. "At some point in my life, I was a single parent and thus also had to take on the role of a mother. The children were still very small at the time, and I was also involved in the business full time because of my restaurant. It wasn't always easy, but I always tried to do my best to be a good father to my children. My good friend and neighbor Irma always helped me with the children. The little free time I had, however, always belonged to my children. For problems, worries or even banal things like a found ladybug, I always took time and listened to my children. I also never let myself be deprived of certain daily and evening rituals. When it was time for bed, the kitchen would stand still for a few minutes. I put my children to bed myself, sang with them or prayed with them. No one can take those moments away from me today, and I remember those times with love," Guido reminisces. The fact that the family has a loving relationship with each other can also be seen in the fact that the restaurant is family-run after all these years. "Ninety-nine percent of the people who work here are family. Florian and Katharina are there every day and help out. My children-in-law and even my grandchildren are also on hand. That's wonderful and I'm always aware of how lucky I am to have a cohesive family," Guido says, beaming.

At 74 years of age, Guido has already reached a certain age, but he wouldn't dream of retiring and living the classic life of a pensioner. If you ask him about it, he immediately replies: "Me and retirement? That's definitely not for me. I love my life and everything I've painstakingly built up over the years. Right now, I'm actually reaping the laurels of my success, and I enjoy having my family support me. As long as I'm alive and well and enjoy my work so much, I'm not thinking about retiring."

Summer in the Lech Valley landscapes and nature Elbigenalp and Bach

When Guido opened his restaurant about 45 years ago, he already had innovative ideas that were still quite unconventional for the time, but also for the region. Nevertheless, many still remember the legendary foam parties or even the beach party with a cubic of sand in the Urbanstube. Guido was often a pioneer and he himself has also remained unconventional. He is who he is and does not allow himself to be bent. He stands by his word and also addresses things. If you also talk to the passionate restaurateur, for example, about the tourist path of the Lechtal, he is undoubtedly of the opinion that only one path suits the valley - namely that of a tourism that is close to nature as well as original and authentic. "If you say or advertise something, then it must be so. Otherwise it's better to leave it alone. Mass tourism and party tourism simply don't fit here. But we still don't have to hide in the Lech Valley. Tourism with common sense, so to speak - that's my motto," Guido says.

Where can you meet Guido Degasperi?
As the figurehead of the Museum WUNDERKAMMER in Elbigenalp, visitors are greeted by the "virtual" Guido right at the beginning of the exhibition. On request, however, you can also experience Guido live during an exciting guided tour of the village of Elbigenalp. An absolute highlight is also "COOKING AT THE OPEN HEART" in Guido's restaurant "Zur Geierwally". Information about the event is available at https://www.zur-geierwally.at/restaurant.

Restaurant "Zur Geierwally"

Austrian cuisine

traditional cuisine

+8

Elbigenalp
Open, closes in 33 Minutes
Anja Ginther

von Anja Ginther

May 03, 2023

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