The first summer: 1881

Friedrich Nietzsche rented a modest room in the Durisch family’s house in Sils Maria for seven summers (1881 and 1883 – 88). After an unsuccessful stay taking the waters in Recoaro, Northern Italy, he “again saved myself by traveling to the Engadine” at the beginning of July 1881. “Here (…) I feel better than anywhere else on earth.” Here, in the dry sunny climate of the high plateau, the weather-sensitive philosopher found conditions which he hoped would relieve his migraine-like headaches which were often accompanied by vomiting.  A strict daily schedule not only governed his work and meal times but also included “daily 5-7 hours of exercise”, long walks in the area during which he filled up the notebooks which accompanied him. His first stay already prompted a key idea which turned his philosophy in a new direction: “the idea of eternal recurrence”, the “basic concept” of “Thus spoke Zarathustra”.

Sils Maria, 1890 ca.