What Is a Baita?

What Is a Baita?

There’s no denying it: winter is on the horizon. At Eataly, as the days grow shorter and colder, our thoughts turn to baita season in Italy.

From when we’re small, winter weekends for Italians are marked with trekking to the Alps, laden with skis, to hit the slopes with our family. At the end of the freezing yet exhilarating day, we gather together in the nearest baita, a small ski lodge. Sprinkled across the Alps, baite are cozy dwellings protected by wooden walls and stone-slab roofs. They’re the perfect escape from the elements for skiers, travelers, and even sheep herders.

It’s no wonder that we feel nostalgic for the baita!

beef shanks baita cabin

Sitting around a crackling fireplace, we wrap icy-cold fingers around hot mugs, cuddle beneath woolen blankets, and laugh about the snow adventures of the day. The local baita keepers, typically a husband and wife who live on the premises, serve us simple but hearty food and drink designed to warm us down to the toes after hours in the cold mountain air.

Think: savory polenta, hearty beef shanks, and mulled wine. We know. The cuisine of the Italian Alps has to be tasted to be believed. On that note —

This winter, Eataly Chicago is opening an entire restaurant dedicated to the Italian Alps. Yes, BAITA is the place to be this season with plenty of reasons to keep coming back, from the polenta to the woolen blankets to some new surprises.


Experience the Italian Alps in the heart of the city at Eataly Chicago's new restaurant, BAITA, opening October 19!