Listening to the forest to rediscover well-being

Digital technology has profoundly changed our lives, but in some cases it has become so pervasive that it creates damage that outweighs the benefits: especially after the pandemic, the problems resulting from over-digitization are affecting more and more people. Doctors and psychotherapists find themselves managing patients of all ages with physical and psychological symptoms directly linked to excess exposure to technologies: among the main ones, increased heart rate, sweating, dilated pupils, reduced salivation, a sense of anxiety and frustration, alteration of the sleep-wake cycle and brain processes, eye fatigue, frequent migraines, difficulty concentrating and decreased productivity. All symptoms that in some cases are close to those caused by drug addiction and affect young people more and more often: 50% of the under 24, according to the research platform Dscout, wake up in the middle of the night to read social updates and the the phenomenon of “vamping”, which pushes you to stay awake all night by scrolling through the web pages. In Italy, according to data from the National Adolescent Observatory, 6 out of 10 adolescents often stay awake until dawn to chat, talk and play online with friends and strangers.

The “cure” for these excesses passes from the rediscovery of nature: more and more people feel the need to detach and regenerate, looking for a more direct and true contact with the surrounding environment. That’s what happens in Rustle, the name of an evocative itinerary that develops in the Pozzatine park in Val di Rabbi, a side valley of Val di Sole, in Trentino. Inside there are seven sound and experiential stations designed to amplify the sounds of the forest, which were inaugurated on the second weekend of June.

The stations are immersed in a fir and larch forest inside the Stelvio National Park and consist of a series of installations, such as wooden bells, giant music boxes connected to trees, drums made from trunks, large trumpets to amplify the sounds of the forest. The route also crosses a sort of circular amphitheater in polished metal that reflects the surrounding landscape and resembles a body of water, and then passes through a “triangular field” which includes three vertical wooden elements stocked with books, magazines and various objects from be able to enjoy while contemplating the surrounding landscape. The last stage is particularly suggestive and represents a tribute to Maestro Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli: visitors can admire – but not play – a grand piano, set on a conifer 10 meters high.

Environment

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Each of the seven sound stations is associated, in the organizers’ idea, with one of the seven Chakras, the energy centers present in the human body according to Eastern philosophies. The goal, he explains Sara Zappini, director of the Terme di Rabbi, is “to bring people to listen to the silence offered by the woods and the sounds of the natural elements against the daily sound bombardment. A sort of therapeutic silence”. “The sound park of Rabbi is a path of immersion in the forest”, he adds Emanuele Lapiana by O Suono mio, the company that created the project together with the Raro architecture studio. “Visitors will be able to increase their inner well-being both through the sound paths and through the rediscovery of the silences of the forest and some physical experiences that will be proposed in collaboration with the spa: embrace of the trees, meditation, reading”.

The initiative was carried out in collaboration with Terme di Rabbi and the Val di Sole Tourist Board, the Municipality of Rabbi and the Stelvio Trentino National Park, and is part of a larger project that aims to include other experiences that use tourism to convey psychophysical well-being, always referring to solid scientific foundations. “We want all the products offered to be consistent with this goal. Only with a ‘holistic’ approach can we truly transform Rabbi into the valley of widespread natural well-being”, underlined Zappini.

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“Many have asked us if the sound park in Val di Rabbi was something necessary. Probably no, it was not needed because this place is already wonderful in itself, but Fruscio wants to be something more, which makes the park of the Pozzatine and allows you to listen to it and experience it from another point of view “, he says Fabio Saccodirector of the Val di Sole Tourist Board. “We believe that the mountain is a natural therapy, which allows you to reunite, re-encounter yourself not only physically but also mentally, in what can truly be a holiday of regeneration “.

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