A fairytale-like world characterised by plants, animals and freedom. Unique and spectacular – Valle di Lodano, a UNESCO World Heritage candidate. My respect for the mountains, which comes as a result of my daily work with the footpaths crew, is rewarded with wonderful moments and images.
Mountains are like giants that don't want to be disturbed, yet at the same time we enjoy a huge feeling of freedom when we're amongst them. My work allows me to approach and experience them as few people can. You have to look after these "big brothers"; that's why the maintenance of the footpaths and trails is so important.
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.
I have wonderful memories of this breathtaking valley that winds its way steeply through the dense forest up to the summit above the village of Lodano. I've spent long wet days in the Valle di Lodano, but each of them has been worth the effort.
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: four different outings on well-prepared footpaths lead through the enchanting forest reserve to pristine destinations.
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.