About Soracte

Old Maps

Our story

Soracte was born in the fresh mountain air of New Zealand. It's a collective effort by designers, writers, travellers and historians to build the equivalent of a 'trekker's teahouse' – a place which evokes the feeling of sitting by a log fire and sharing stories after a long day of hiking.

We create things designed to make your adventures more enjoyable, your sense of history more colourful, and your relationship with the earth more meaningful. We're very much amateurs on the same path, and we're still learning things every day – but it's always nice to share the journey with others.

As Montaigne wrote nearly 500 years ago:

The advantage of living is not measured by length, but by use. Some people have lived long, and lived little; attend to it while you are in it. It lies in your will, not in the number of years, for you to have lived enough.

Behind the name

Soracte (or Soratte) is a mountain in Italy, about one day's hike north of Rome.

Throughout history, when travellers from northern Italy or beyond made their way to Rome, they would see Soracte's solitary ridge rising above the farmland – reassuring them that the 'eternal city' was just around the corner.

Mount Soracte

Mount Soracte has been mentioned by travellers and romantics since ancient times – and it features in a rather beautiful piece of writing by the Roman poet Horace:

You see how Soracte stands out white
with deep snow, and the struggling trees can
no longer sustain the burden, and the rivers
are frozen with sharp ice.

Dispel the cold by liberally piling logs on
the fireplace, and draw out more generously,
o Thaliarchus, four-year-old unmixed wine
from the two-handled Sabine jar.

Entrust everything else to the gods; as soon as
they have stilled the winds battling on the heaving
sea, neither the cypress trees nor
the ancient ash trees are shaken.

Leave off asking what tomorrow will bring, and
whatever days fortune will give, count them
as profit, and while you're young don't scorn
sweet love affairs and dances,

so long as crabbed old age is far from
your vigour. Now let the playing field and the
public squares and soft whisperings at nightfall
(the appointed hour) be your pursuits;

now too the sweet laughter of a girl hiding
in a secret corner, which gives her away,
and a pledge snatched from her wrists
or her feebly resisting finger.

So what does the word 'Soracte' mean to us?

It evokes a very specific approach to life – a stoic acceptance of life's brevity, combined with an epicurean desire to live it to the full. We would define it as 'a quiet appreciation of beautiful things and moments' – and it serves as our guiding star whenever we need to make a decision about what to create next.

What next?

We'd love to hear from you. Why not drop us a line and let us know one thing you'd like to see more of in the world?