Responsible for this content Ascona-Locarno Tourism
Photo: Ascona-Locarno Tourism
Natural oasis and prehistoric place of worship
Distance 3.6 km
Highest point456 m
Lowest point360 m
The area of Arcegno, part of the municipality of Losone, is easily accessible from Locarno by bus no. 314 or by car. It is highly distinctive: the centre is full of traditional Ticinese houses and alleyways paved in stone. The surrounding nature is intact and inviting, a veritable oasis to recharge the batteries. A Roman necropolis has been discovered in the area and an incision in rock, while in the woods there are numerous cup-shaped incisions and stone formations thought to be from the nature cult of the Celts and others.
The underground demarcation between the European continental plate and the African one, known as the Insubric line, directly crosses the zone of Monte Verità and Arcegno. This phenomenon has provided interesting geological formations and, on occasion, a higher level of magnetism. The millennial erosion of the glaciers left smooth beautiful hills and precious marshy areas. The hills, Barbescio for example, offer a good view of Lake Maggiore, they are also energy centres.
The silent pagan grotto is reminiscent of a prehistoric place of worship. The atmosphere is central and almost oppressive. It is said that Hermann Hesse spent some days meditating there with Gusto Gräser, co-founder of Monte Verità. Is it true? Grottos are interpreted in many cultures as places for developing into an expanded state of awareness, where every detail is seen as part of a bigger picture. A natural consequence of this state of consciousness is respect for every animate and inanimate object.
Questa escursione richiede un passo stabile e sicuro, in quanto alcuni sentieri sono ripidi o possono essere scivolosi.
Arcegno (388 m)
32T 480149 5112141
From the church at Arcegno, walking towards the old centre, go on via Sant’Antonio. There is a curve in the road with steps carved into the rock. At the top of the steps at ground level, you can see the first rock with cup-shaped incisions nearby. Having passed the centre, you walk for 10-15min on the road crossing the Pestalozzi holiday camp. Just a few metres after the blue house - Casa Johanna Spyri – take the path on the left going up to the corner of the woods, where there is a rock with engravings, channels and grooves on the opposite riverbank (the riverbed is usually dry). Going back to the path, known as Strada dei Polacchi, keep going for ten minutes towards Pozz di Butt pond, where there is also a chapel, wooden bridge and rocky hillock. If you cross the wooden bridge and keep going along the path that rises slightly, you will arrive at the foot of the hill, at the end of which you join the rocky summit of Barbescio hill from where you can enjoy the view towards Locarno. From there you go back down to Strada dei Polacchi, continuing along the right-hand path to a field with some parking spaces.
Keep going straight and after a few metres on the left, you will find a path going into the woods, which turns into a slippery path leading to Grotta dei Pagani in under 60 metres. Then retrace your steps to Pozz di Butt pond. From there you go down and take the path towards the village running parallel to Strada Dei Polacchi. This path goes close to the pond known as Bollettina Lunga and ends up at Arcegno after 100 more steps.