Locarno is situated along Lago Maggiore and it hosts the 3rd most important film festival in Europe at the beginning of August each year. We walked the winding streets of the city and visited some of the pretty churches. One of them was built by a citizen attached to his palace.
Then we took a postal bus. Where railroad would not be feasible (remote villages) the Swiss Post is running a postal bus service, which along delivering the mail also transfer people.
We went up the Verzasca Valley. At the lower part of the valley we have seen a huge dam, what you all know from the Golden Eye movie – this is where the doubler of James Bond jumps off at the beginning of the film.
Behind the dam there is a large "lake", further up it gets much smaller and wilder and it is beautifully green. On top of the hill you can see the smallest Swiss settlement which has only 16 inhabitants (Corippo).
There is also a double bridge what the locals call a Roman bridge, but it is not that old, was built “only” in the 17th century.
At the end of the valley we got out in the pictures village of Sonogno. Used to be a very poor village where at the end of the 19th century little boys were bought by some “businessmen” and taken to Milan to become chimneysweep. They had to climb in the chimneys which was sometimes still hot and had to work tremendously for very basic food and accommodation. This was the only way to support the large families back in the remote villages. Some of these boys are still alive and we could watch a movie about them telling their stories. There is a novel and a musical about the boys.
In Ticino it is typical to have small grottos (local restaurants) where only home-made meat, cheese, wine, salami, pickles is served. Today our lunch was also grotto style – local cheese and Merlot wine which is the most typical in Ticino and they also offer white Merlot along with rosé and red.
In the evening with some people we went for a night swim in the Lago Maggiore which was accompanied by full moon and some local ducks.