You need to be well prepared and everyone knows what he has to do: because we carry a lot of heavy equipment and have to reach the furthest corners of the region, we're usually flown to our destination by helicopter. Once you arrive and sniff the fresh mountain air, your pulse quickens and you're ready to go. The work includes cutting grass and trees, clearing footpaths of avalanches and rockfalls and repairing any damage. Tired and dirty from my efforts, I wait in the late afternoon for the moment when the helicopter appears on the horizon. I feel pleased – and thankful – to have been able to do something for my "big brother" in terms of respecting and tidying him up. Even if the tough, sweaty work is sometimes a bit much, returning to the mountains always puts a smile to my face: it's like coming home, and the urge to be there in the great outdoors is irresistible.
The sight that meets my eyes on the Alpe Canaa after work, when clouds and rain make way for the majestic natural amphitheatre formed by the valley and its mountains, remains etched in my memory.
Now when I walk these paths, I think back to those moments that the Valle di Lodano has given me, and I feel proud to have helped make them accessible to others.
Come with me on my walks through the Valle di Lodano, which has been an official UNESCO World Heritage Site since July 2021: four different outings on well-prepared footpaths lead through the enchanting forest reserve to pristine destinations. To find out more about the valley and its hidden stories, download a free audio tour to your smartphone and browse the 17 sections. Keep your eyes peeled: there's a wealth of interesting things to see and hear on the way!
Luca | aged 39
I'm a member of Ascona-Locarno Tourism's footpaths team in the Vallemaggia. For me, the mountains symbolise freedom as well as my place of work. For the respect I show them, I'm rewarded with wonderful moments, vistas and sights.