Tag Archives: Ticino

Acquacalda, Switzerland, 2-Day Hike to the Mountain Hotel

On our way to the west mountains surrounding Olivone, (one of the smaller towns in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland), my dad and I trudged up through the hills close to the place my mum dropped us off.

Karte Gemeinde Olivone

Karte Gemeinde Olivone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since tackling the whole 15km way to Acquacalda would be very tiring, my mum offered to drive us to a village which was ideally scattered on the side of a mountain surrounding Olivone.

The hills we walked up through reminded me strongly of the cosy Hobbit holes dug in the side of a grassy green hill. As we finally emerged from the hillside of the small village, we were, or I was, not pleased to see a winding path leading steeply up through dense woods.

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Although the ascent was tiring, we made it and made ourselves comfortable in the mini restaurant of the next village named .

I drank a quick bottle of Rivella (a very famous Swiss beverage) and went off again, the map indicating that there were some steep paths ahead. The worst was not over yet.

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When we finally emerged from the woods surrounding Acquacalda, we were both sweating, our clothes sticky and wet. The last slope up the hill of the Mountain Hotel was tiring and the first thing we did was to sit by a nearby stream and ate lunch.

The hotel rooms were surprisingly cosy and well furnished as we went to sleep, our bellies full with homemade pasta.

The next day was less tiring and we made a short ascent up a small mountain, the remaining hike being just a flat landscape with a steep descent at the end. However, it wasn’t the steepness that irritated me that much. It was the flies… Only in the fields, I could already count nineteen hitch-hiking flies clinging onto our T-shirts…

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The last route down was also tiring because it was riddled with serpentine bends, making your feet numb and sore. We eventually arrived in Olivone before lunch and surprised everyone by turning up so early.

 by Francesco Limacher

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Hiking in Ticino (Southern Switzerland)

Map of Ticino districts.

Map of Ticino districts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The southernmost canton of Switzerland is Ticino. It has 8 districts and borders the Canton of Uri (to the north), Valais (to the west), Graubünden (to the northeast) and Italy’s regions of Piedmont and Lombardy to the south (and it has a small Italian exclave, Campione d’Italia).

In Ticino, named after the Ticino river, which flows through it from the Nufenen Pass to Lago Maggiore. Italian is the official language (like in southern sections of Graubünden).

Tisino is split geographically in two parts by the Monte Ceneri pass. The Sopraceneri – in the north – is formed by two major Swiss valleys around Lago aggiore: Valle del Ticino and Valle Maggia. The region around the Lago di Lugano is the southern part, also called Sottoceneri.

Its nickname “Sonnenstube der Schweizcomes from the 2,300 sunshine hours the canton receives every year, compared to 1,700 for Zurich. But Ticino is also “prone to fierce storms and has the highest level of lightning discharge in the whole of Europe”.

If you are interested in hiking in Ticino, Ti-Sentieri is a very good site to plan your journey.

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You can choose to start by one of the valleys, choose an intinerary and check the huts (capanne). On the site Capanneti.ch you can have a look at the different huts available.

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Make sure that before your first hike you gather all the information you need, by visiting Ticino-Sentieri , where you can find emergency numbers, the kind of roadsigns you’ll find on your path (segnaletica), the rules of conduct (regole comportamentali), and what to do before you start your hike.

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A summer in Ticino

If you’re planning to spend a part of your summer in the Southern part of Switzerland, in Ticino, you can find plenty of information about this region (canton Ticino) here.

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In Ticino you can find about 3,000 kilometres of marked paths and trails. It is a real “playground for outdoor activities” from spring until autumn.

“The choice ranges from relaxing walks along lakeshores to challenging alpine tours, and from artistic and cultural itineraries to gastronomic excursions among vineyards and alpine pastures. The main local tourist offices of Ticino organize as well guided tours of their region. Some of them are free of charge.”

There are hiking itineraries in Bellinzona and upper valleys, the Lago Maggiore and valleys, routes around Lago di Lugano and valleys here, but you can also find very interesting biking itineraries, mountain bike itineraries and, if you prefer, guided excursions. But there are also itineraries for nordic walking,

View of the upper lake from above Brissago, Sw...

View of the upper lake from above Brissago, Switzerland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’re looking for playgrounds for kids, have a look at parchi giochi in Ticino.

On the Ticino/Switzerland site, you can even find a map where to plan and trace your personal itinerary.

But Ticino is not only sports during summer: there is the Film Festival  in Locarno and many more cultural events.

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And about the region called “Sottoceneri” (South of the Ceneri), I can recommend the blog expatwithkids. A more general blog about life in Switzerland with also a part about Ticino is  Swissinfo.

The Swiss Italian

Swiss Italian is the name given to the dialect spoken by about 500,000 Swiss in the canton of Ticino   and in the southern part of Grisons (Canton Grigioni). Swiss Italian is also the term used to signify the Italian-speaking autochthonous population in Switzerland.

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