A Walser village in Ticino
Where it all began...
Once upon a time there were the Walsers, a mountain people from the Upper Valais, an area that gradually became more and more populated. So much so that eventually some Walsers decided to set off in search of a new home and pastures new for their livestock. While they were looking for somewhere new to live, they crossed the Val Formazza and passed the Guriner Furka before reaching one of the beautiful small side valleys of the Vallemaggia. That valley was the Valle di Bosco and it was there that they founded the village of Gurin in 1253.
Bosco Gurin: history and legend
Centuries have passed, but a visit to Bosco Gurin now is like taking a step back in time: the inhabitants have maintained both their traditions and language, and even today they speak Ggurijnartitsch in their everyday lives (a Swiss German dialect in addition to Italian and the dialect of Ticino). As you walk past their still intact wood and stone houses you breathe in the peace and quiet and find that particular contact with nature that is becoming increasingly lost in the city. The surrounding woods are rich in flora, fauna and local legends. Walking through the larches, red spruces, green alders and hazelnut trees, you might even meet the Weltu, the small, kind, legendary woodland folk with backward feet who are said to graze the locals’ livestock when the snow is deep or the weather bad.
At the top all year round
A visit to Bosco Gurin is unforgettable at any time of year, from spring flowering to summer walks or from the explosion of autumn colours to snowy days. As it is the highest mountain village in Ticino (more than 1,500 metres above sea level!), from here you can not only admire unique views but also set off on breathtaking ski descents. With 34 km of slopes (ski and sledge), the Kids Village, snowshoe trails and cross-country skiing, it is a real paradise in miniature for winter sports enthusiasts, just a stone’s throw from the mild climate of Lake Maggiore. On New Year’s Eve you can even watch or take part in the magical torchlight procession on skis.
During the summer, it’s the perfect spot to rediscover harmony with nature, admire Ticino’s extremely rare flowers (such as the Campanula excisa), spot a mountain animal (was that an ibex?) and go on long walks or bike rides. The views that can be enjoyed from up here are one of a kind. Seeing is believing: from Pizzo Biela (Wandfluhorn), for example, you can see the whole Vallemaggia. Whether on foot, by bike or using the chairlift that goes up to the ski slopes in winter, it’s worth making the trip. In summer or winter, a stop at one of the restaurants is a must: real local cuisine in a welcoming atmosphere. Our summer tip: the Monster Roller! A scooter with extra thick wheels for hurtling down the mountainside.
What’s your favourite winter sport?
Skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, snowscooting, cross-country skiing, skating, sledging or bobsledding? Whether you’re an accomplished athlete or an expert builder of snowmen, enjoy your day on the snow and don’t forget to capture your best moments and share them with the hashtag #myasconalocarno. We’re waiting for you!