Lonely Planet Writer

Indulge your childhood dreams in this Italian pinecone treehouse

They are the latest craze in holiday accommodation … and this treehouse in the Italian Alps may well be the most imaginative yet. The pinecone-shaped treehouse, named Pigna, is in the Dolomite Mountains near Tarvisio, close to the Italian border with Austria and Slovenia.

Pinecone treehouses are the latest accomodation craze in the Italian Alps
Interior of the Pigna in the Italian Dolomites. Photo by Laura Tessaro

It’s available as a short-term holiday let where guests can indulge their childhood dreams and at night-time, gaze out through its rooftop skylight at the stars above. The treehouse is in one of Italy’s oldest forests, where the spruce trees are used to make violins and other musical instruments because of the quality of the wood.

Architect Luca Beltrame said: “The project started from the desire to create a structure that is not only a refuge for man, but also a natural element of its environment … from the tree, for the tree.”

Pinecone hut stays are now a thing in the Dolomites
Enjoy a stay in a pinecone-shaped hut in the Italian Alps. Photo by Massimo Crivellini

There are two separate places for guests to stay, spread over three levels and rising ten metres above the ground below. Among the features are a panoramic covered terrace, a spiral wooden staircase, and the skylight at the tip of the structure. The treehouse is accessed by a bridge and supported by the fir trees that surround it; it even has a small kitchen for guests to cook in. It’s located 1200 metres above sea level and in a mountainous region that is a Unesco world heritage area.

Pinecone-shapes treehouse in the Italian Alps
Pigna – pinecone-shaped hut in the forest. Photo by Ulderica Da Pozzo

The new treehouse is one of several magical projects either in planning or already built that have featured on Lonely Planet over the past few months. In Panama, two entrepreneurs are hoping to build treehouses that look like cocoa pods as part of an eco-friendly retreat on nine hectares of tropical rainforest on Isla Pastor. Not too far away in Mexico, the Papaya Playa resort has opened a treehouse that seems inspired by the architecture of Antoni Gaudi and the quirky houses from the Hobbit films.