The only valley entirely surrounded by Ticino mountains is the Verzasca Valley. It lies exactly in the centre of the Ticino region. And there is so much to see and do here.
D1 - Alpe Bardughè, Lavertezzo & Brione
Your weekend starts with a lovely walk in one of the most amazing corners of the Verzasca Valley: the Alpe Bardughè. Starting from Vogorno, follow the Odro ethnographic trail, a route interesting not only because of its great natural beauty but also for its socio-cultural importance. It takes you through woods, mountain pastures and intact rural hamlets.
On reaching Odro, visit the small museum to learn how the land was farmed in past centuries, including how they used to gather the wild hay in the Verzasca valley. Further on is the huge Alpe Bardughè mountain plain with fantastic panoramic views over Lake Maggiore and a charming collection of rustic buildings clinging to the sides of Pizzo Vogorno. What better way to leave your cares behind than to rest here a while? If you wish, you can practice your favourite yoga poses here or simply enjoy a picnic with some local produce. It only takes about 2 - 2.5 hours to descend to the bottom of the valley, so you have plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings. On reaching Vogorno, you might wish to visit Lavertezzo (using public transport), where both the Parish Church and the famous Ponte dei Salti bridge are well worth seeing. This elegant bridge is a Romanesque structure. It sits above the clear waters of the Verzasca river to form the most popular attraction in the valley. The whole area is of national importance: a series of quaint villages, each seemingly more beautiful than the last, with their own special atmosphere, yet all sharing the same, unmistakable character of the Verzasca Valley. For example, if architecture is your thing, well worth a visit in Brione Verzasca are the 13th century Parish Church of Santa Maria Assunta and the 18th century Castello Marcacci. Tip: check the local calendar of events, as the castle is often used for various events that prove very popular with the locals.
D2 - Sonogno and its environs
We recommend dedicating the next day, or at least a few hours, to visiting Sonogno. Sitting at the head of the valley, it is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque and typical villages in the whole of the Swiss Alps. Sonogno is easily reached on foot, by bus or even MTB (follow the beautiful Alta Verzasca Bike cycle route).
Stroll around the village and visit the Casa della Lana wool centre and the Museo di Val Verzasca ethnographic museum to discover the local culture and how people once lived and worked here. You can then continue to either of two more valleys, the Val Redorta (make sure you see the spectacular Froda waterfall) or the Val Vegornèss. Alternatively, linger a while and taste some of the local specialities or simply sit back and enjoy the view on a terrace, sipping a good glass of “mez e mez”. If you notice a lot of coming and goings, especially in the morning, then you know it is market day. Held once a month (summer only), this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity for any self-respecting gourmet. Always check the local calendar for the latest details. So, a taste of the Verzasca Valley in just two days. There is so much more to discover and so many other activities: get some inspiration from us for your next trip! Until the next time...