you want to come to the Val d'Intelvi to
get away from it all and immerse yourself in nature, but if you get
the urge to go to the city (just for a little while, and just to enjoy
the best parts of it, and without the stress of work weighing you
down), get in your car and in a few minutes you will find yourself
in Lugano, ready to do
a bit of shopping in the elegant shops under the porticos of Via
Nassa, or see an art exhibit in one of the renowned Ticinese galleries.
or red? Feel lucky and take a chance in the casino, and don't
forget to go to Campione d'Italia
- a delightful Italian enclave in the middle of the Swiss
territory, with one of the most beautiful casinos
in Europe. Just a few kilometers away is Bellinzona,
with its three castles and San Bernardino,
of the most popular Swiss ski slopes that can be reached in
from the much more inexpensive lodgings in Val
d'Intelvi. Or head towards Porlezza
- delightfully cool during the heat of summer - and take a drive along
Ceresio: these are
the settings of famous Italian novels (for example, Albogasio
and Oria are
the settings of Fogazzaro's novels) Along Lake
Lario, experience the enticing views that are
awaiting you on Comancina island and
among the flowering gardens at Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo,
or at the splendid 18th century villa in Punta
life is now in these parts! Today wider roads and more cars make
traveling easier. Once this was difficult land for farming - just
hay for feeding animals, chestnuts and not much else - woodcutters,
stonecutters, the famous "picapreda" who made works
of art in all of Europe.
Now many inhabitants of the Intelvi valley are border workers with
nearby Switzerland, others are entrepreneurs and businessmen working
in the tourist industry. But we still relive our ancient traditions,
for example the festival days in honor
of the Beata Vergine di Loreto (Blessed Virgin) during
the last weekend of January - three days of celebrations with solemn
processions, music, auctions in the town square.
There is the revocation of the Palio Lanzanese
where the young people of the town parade in colorful traditional
medieval costumes and the "Festa
dei Cuurt" in Scaria, in July which lights
up the most beautiful courtyards of the little town. There is also
the "Lanz cume Serum"
in August, which brings back the life, times and foods of the past.
In Schignagno during carnival time,
there is the grotesque masquerade of the "beauties
and the beasts", with the former dressed in sumptuous
costumes and colored ribbons, and the latter covered with sheep
skin and bells, their faces covered with wooden masks as they run
up and down the streets.
Argegno, at the mouth of the valley, visit the "living crèche"
in December and feel the devotion of the people. In terms of artistic
wealth, Val d'Intelvi has a treasure
of rare beauty.
Next to the cemetery in Scaria, the Romanesque
church of San Nazaro and Celso
will surprise you with its vivid renaissance frescos. In
the center of the city you can visit the Museo
d'Arte Sacra (Museum of Sacred Art), with interesting findings
reflecting the religious culture of the area, and the late
Baroque church dedicated to S. Maria: here the frescos
and decorative stuccos by Diego e Carlo Innocenzo Carloni testify
to the legendary pure Rococo style of the early 18th c. in the Val
d'Intelvi, which spread quickly to the rest of Europe.
For centuries, artists and craftsmen in the valley who were masters
in the scagliola decorative arts left elegant masterpieces in the
courtyards of Europe.
At the beginning of the 20th c., the Liberty style villas
built in Lanzo by well-to-do
families from Milano and Como, with ornate stone walls decorated with
harmonious wrought iron grills, cosy porticos, elegant columned windows
facing the mountains reveal the opulence and style of the time.
Natural history enthusiasts will not be disappointed by what our valley
has to offer.
The Museo dei Fossili in Scaria
(Museum of Fossils) displays findings that date back over 310 million
|Visit the Grotta
dell'Orso (Bear's Cave) on the top of Monte
Generoso: a three and a half hour walk from Lanzo,
or half hour by cog-railway that leaves from Capolago
(CH) that takes you to where the remains of approximately 10 Ursus
Spelaeus, giant cave bears that roamed the area as far back as
12 thousand years ago, were found.
including ski lift and use of cross country runs.