The village of Foroglio in the valley without electricity

There are places where the forces of nature shape not only the landscape but also the lives of the people who live in it. One of these is the wild one Val Bavona, the most rocky and impenetrable of the alpine area. We’re in Ticinoat the time the famous was born Foroglio waterfall, next to it stands the picturesque village of the same name, where time seems to be petrified. So far, it may seem like a green Swiss valley like any other, but there is one feature that makes it completely unique and green: the lack of electricity.

Foroglio, a timeless village

Foroglio is the most famous village in the valley, thanks to the waterfall that bears its name and which is the backdrop with a thundering leap of 110 meters. A graceful center with houses gathered around the church from the fifteenth century, reminiscent of life for generations dedicated to transhumance, modest stone houses built to the needs of labor and the configuration of the earth, which over time have kept their primitive appearance almost intact. Between the one and the other peat (which we also met in Bosco Gurin), characteristic buildings in wood and stone used for the preservation of grain, especially rye.

Foroglio is one of the twelve villages spread over the valley floor, located more or less one kilometer apart, and called “Lander” from the locals. What contributed to the perfect preservation of this rural world was the absence of a carriageway in Val Bavona, built only after 1950, and of an electricity network (except San Carlo). In fact, the energy needs of this valley have always been met alone with solar energywhy the villages that dot it are only inhabited in the summer.

A paradox, considering the large amount of electricity produced in Val Bavona, between three power plants and three artificial lakes. As a result of residents’ choice to continue living without electricity luxury, the secluded valley remains largely the same today as it has been for centuries.

The village of Foroglio in the valley without electricity

The picturesque village of Foroglio

Itinerary to discover Val Bavona

It also passes through Foroglio a nice walk which runs through the valley’s twelve settlements and allows visitors to discover all its secrets and appreciate its timeless charm. A path full of suggestions, not only for the magnificent landscapes it offers to the eye, but also for the testimony of human intervention, which was able to interpret the territory and transform even the most hostile elements of nature into allies.

During the excursion you encounter the so-called “Splüi”, characteristic under-rock constructions that were to meet the needs of the peasants and for which they were used as a refuge for themselves and for animals, as depots for food or storage for hay and wood. Most of them lie at the foot of the landslides where the largest boulders settle. The inhabitants also built terraces on the slopes of the mountain, cultivating the land between the rocks and above them, creating the so-called hanging meadows. The amazing thing about this valley is the way humans have lived in harmony and symbiosis with the earth and with nature, and their ingenious survival techniques.

Val Bavona’s history, like other alpine valleys, is strongly influenced by transhumance. To find out more you can follow didactic path on the subject in the villages Cavergno And Bignasco. The route accompanies hikers through the various stages of the valley floor up to Foroglio and continues through Val Calnegia up to alpine pastures, at an altitude of over 2000 meters.

For some years now has Valle Bavona Fondenthrough the activities of the “Landscape Laboratory”, allows visitors to live in direct contact with the territory, experiment, develop knowledge, acquire practice with traditional techniques, help preserve intact and protect an extraordinary heritage.

Foroglio waterfall

Foroglio Waterfall, an attraction in Val Bavona


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