Responsible for this content Ascona-Locarno Tourism
Photo: Mariano Berri, Ascona-Locarno Tourism
The church tower, Perbioi and Cortoi
Distance 7 km
Highest point1,353 m
Lowest point724 m
Mergoscia parish church in Verzasca Valley is located on a terrace with a beautiful view of lakes Vogorno and Maggiore. The church tower is an energy point: it serves as an antenna to attract cosmic energy and spread it around, similar to many cathedrals, mountains, hotels and menhir (dense stones). The benches at the foot of the steeple are an inviting way to contemplate the panorama.
Along the path going to Perbioi, you will see a centuries-old oak tree with an enormous trunk. Connoisseurs consider this tree as a sage guarding the entrance to the Perbioi power spot. A precious marsh area has been reclaimed here. The valley receives the terrestrial electromagnetic flow from north to south and is open to the east and west, receiving the sun's rays: a harmonious combination and source of peace. The valley offering a majestic view of Pizzo Vogorno is sometimes called “Valletta delle Streghe” (valley of witches). In the overlying woods there are stones reminiscent of the mystical landscapes populated by such peoples as the Lepontii and Celts, an altar and some small menhir.
The climb to Cortoi features 500 stone steps, intricately constructed by young volunteers under the watchful eye of local experts. You can enjoy the beautiful panorama from San Lorenzo chapel or the well-kept Alpe Cortoi. If you go further along the Porchesio path, you will find an energy-infused rock with cup-shaped engravings, the incisions originate from different epochs.
Best time of year
Asphalt 8.33%Forested/wild trail 0.77%Path 90.88%
Show elevation profile
Mergoscia, Posta (723 m)
32T 488346 5117462
The hike starts at the church with the steeple and panoramic view. From there going by the Lungta Tibetan centre you will reach Benitt in ten minutes. From there you take the path towards Cortoi, following the Pro Mergoscia signs, passing the chestnut woods and below the dry-stone terrace walls towards the Perbioi pond. The centuries-old oak tree, which could be 600-700 years old according to a local expert, is just before the entrance to Perbioi (about 20 min. from Benitt). The valley accommodating the, occasionally dry, pond is the quiet “valletta delle streghe” (witches valley). From the valley you go to the right on the ridge of the hill in the “enchanted forest”, to the panoramic view with the wooden bench. Then go down to the cross with the other paths and follow the sign Pro Mergoscia, go down the 500 or so stone steps to San Lorenzo chapel and the Cortoi mountains (1000m masl, 30 min. from Perbioi).
From there it takes under 30 minutes to go back down to Mergoscia or extend the hike to the large rock formation under Porchesio, signposted as no. 13 on the Pro Mergoscia route. The short trip is thus one and a half hours and the long one to the boulder and back is about 2 and a half hours of continual walking.
Bus 312 from Locarno, stop "Mergoscia Posta"
Mergoscia (735 masl), accessible by bus no. 312 from Locarno (get off at the last stop before the parish church) or by car. If you arrive by car you can park directly on the square in front of the parish church or in the car park behind the church. There are also some parking spaces in the Benitt zone.
Sul piazzale davanti alla chiesa parrocchiale ci sono dei posteggi, così come sul parcheggio dietro la stessa. In zona "Benitt" ci sono ulteriori posteggi.