But the legend of the Töfflibuaba (“kids with mopeds”) came into being in the 1970s, when the moped (affectionately nicknamed the “motorino” or “cinquantino”) became very popular with young people, because it was the first mode of transport that allowed them to get around independently. And the motorino was also what allowed them to set off on their first great adventure: armed with a backpack, willpower, and, if they were lucky, some good travelling companions, kids from German Switzerland, barely 15-years-old, would climb into the saddle and clock up hundreds of kilometres to reach Ticino over the Gotthard or St Bernard passes. Some with more nutritious supplies than others, they faced unpredictable weather, breakdowns and fatigue. It was their first great adventure, their first holiday on their own, the first story they would be able to tell their friends about. And they would carry on talking about it for years and years, even to their children, remembering a time when the world was not so accessible and it was not so common or easy to pick a spot on a map at random and jump on a plane.
The tour starts from Chur in the canton of Graubünden at 7 am and ends in the Piazza at Ascona ten hours later. There are no races, time trials or winners, just a great team spirit and a sense of sharing the experience. Established in 2015 by a group of enthusiasts, The Original Waazzoouu‘s, the Töfflitour Chur-Ascona has seen the number of participants multiplied by 60: from ten the first time, in the last edition 600 Töfflibuaba started from the Post Office bridge in the capital of Graubünden – including around 70 women – ready to tackle the long journey ahead to our region with a spirit of adventure and passion. In the procession from Minusio to Ascona or gathered by the lakeside they make a unique and original spectacle that celebrates a time when teenagers would zip around on the saddle of their mopeds with an intoxicating scent of freedom.
Nature has given us green valleys that humans have only partially made their own, furrowed by sloping roads, sinuous curves and very high bridges. It is no coincidence that our region is part of the number 1 Alps road trip, an adventure on the road, where the destination is, of course, the journey. Discovered on two wheels, the valleys – with their historical villages and typical grottoes where you can stop for a chat and some delicious Ticino food – offer unbeatable views and experiences.