Exploring the Centovalli

A land of dreams and clowns

The Centovalli are so called because of the many projections and recesses that shape the mountain and create hundreds of small valleys. Legend has it that there are 100 of them, but even Pardy has never managed to count them. Thanks to its dense green forests and the historic train that crosses it, this valley that connects Switzerland to Italy is particularly fairy-tale like and suitable for a family outing. Take the Centovallina and explore the Centovalli, on the way you may even encounter llamas, clowns and mysterious treasures.

A day in the Centovalli: what to see

The best way to explore the Centovalli from top to bottom is on the train that goes through them: the Centovallina. You can catch it from Locarno itself, right underneath the train station. First stop: Verdasio. From here you can take the cable car up Monte Comino, a real paradise for hikers. Covered in flowers and with beautiful views of the mountains, Monte Comino is also home to a friendly herd of... llamas! At the agriturismo run by Marisa and Jean-Pierre Bäschlin, you can go on hikes with these wonderful animals and sample typical traditional dishes made with organic ingredients. After you’ve fallen in love with the llamas and filled up on genuine local products, it will be time to return to Verdasio to get back on the Centovallina to Intragna to visit the Museo Centovalli e Pedemonte and see the highest bell tower in Ticino before returning to Locarno by train. What an exciting day!

What about a longer trip?

Here are a few other suggestions if you have more time:

  • Stop off in Verscio to visit the theatre founded by Dimitri the Clown, as well as the Casa del Clown and the Museo Comico. Don’t forget to check the show programme to see if you might be in luck!
  • Take a detour to the Valle Onsernone, the wildest valley in the region, to discover its delicious treats, such as Farina Bóna.
  • In Intragna you can even go on a chestnut treasure hunt with Pardy. Find out how on this page.

Plan your stay