The Villages of Ticino

A journey to discover the characteristic villages of Ticino that hand down the tradition

In Ticino, in the south of Switzerland, there are special villages, immersed in nature and where it seems to be catapulted into the world of fairy tales. They are villages of stone and wood houses, built next to spectacular waterfalls and rivers.

Here it is often possible to rediscover the ancient traditions, especially the culinary ones: from the red wine of Ticino to the polenta. It is pleasant to stop in a typical grotto, tasting the specialties of the territory.

The itinerary that we would like to present to you covers the whole of Ticino, from the mountains in the north to the lakes in the south. To reach these places, sometimes a bit lost, a car is recommended. Once at your destination, the villages are easily visited on foot, while the waterfalls and rivers require a few more steps.

The villages and waterfalls of the Maggia Valley


An unmissable stop in the Maggia Valley is Foroglio. The waterfall, 100 meters high, is the frame, along with the peaks of the mountains often snow-capped, of the village built in stone. A bridge over the river allows access to the village and after a short walk you reach the base of the Foroglio waterfall.

Foroglio and waterfall – Ticino


In the village of Sabbione it seems to be catapulted into a fairy tale. Everything is built with stones: the low walls that make up the entrance way leading to the buildings, the houses, the stairs. Behind the village there is a giant monolith that harmonizes with the houses.

Not far from here, on the road that runs through the Maggia Valley, there is a metal bridge that can be crossed on foot from which it is possible to admire the clear waters of the Maggia River and the frame of the mountains.

Cranzünasc waterfall

Continuing the Maggia Valley towards the south, you will come across one of the most beautiful waterfalls of the valley, that of Cranzünasc. You have to walk through the grass for a few minutes to reach it and cross the stream on the stones if you want to see it up close.

Cranzunasc waterfall – Ticino

The village of Bignasco and its waterfall

Bignasco, a hamlet of Cevio, is another characteristic village with stone houses. Here the Maggia Valley divides into the Bavona Valley and the Lavizzara Valley. Interesting are the old stone bridge and the waterfall, where you can also stop for a barbecue, sunbathe or swim in the refreshing waters of the stream.

Cascata di Bignasco – Ticino

Bosco Gurin

In the Bosco Valley, a district of the Maggia Valley, there is a small village founded by the Walser around 1200. It is the highest municipality in Ticino, 1500 meters above sea level and the only German-speaking one.

The road to reach it is long and with many curves. It is immersed in nature and is an important ski resort.

Bosco Gurin – Ticino


Among the most beautiful villages of Ticino, Giornico stands out for its historical buildings and vineyards. Two beautiful Romanesque bridges connect the small island in the middle of the Ticino river.

Definitely worth visiting are the Casa degli Stanga with its frescoes and the Church of San Nicolao. It is a Romanesque style church dating back to the twelfth century. Inside it is rich in frescoes and you can recognize a Last Supper. The apse is covered with late Gothic frescoes and there is the iconographic image of the trivultus, a figure with three faces and four eyes.

On one side of the village, there is a hill with an ancient fortress and under it, you can admire vineyards. Giornico is in fact known for its fine wines and it is worth stopping in a typical grotto to taste local dishes and wines.


Gandria is certainly one of the most beautiful villages of Ticino and not only. It is built on the slope down to the lake on which it is reflected. It is a unique place that should be discovered walking through the narrow streets, going up and down the stairs.

Gandria was known for its oil and in front of the town hall there is still an ancient oil mill. You can reach the village with a pleasant walk in the silence and on the lake, the Gandria Path, which starts from Castagnola. We suggest to stop at the sunset on a terrace over the roofs of Gandria and taste the specialties of the Ticinese tradition in a typical grotto.


A village that overlooks Lake Ceresio and goes up the hill. Morcote is characteristic for its arcades, the church of Santa Maria del Sasso, from which you have a beautiful view, the terraced cemetery and the monumental staircase.

For those who love walking in nature, you can start from the lakeside and go up towards the church along the stairs. From here you continue in the green. Near the fortress, vineyards grow to produce the typical wines of Ticino.

Muggio and the Bruzella Mill

In the valley with the same name lies the village of Muggio, another characteristic village of Ticino. Not far from here, there is the Mulino di Bruzella, an ancient mill restored and still working. It is possible to visit the mill surrounded by nature and buy the handmade polenta flour that is produced.

The fairytale villages of Ticino, combined with nature and culinary tradition

Ticino is full of wonderful ancient villages, immersed in nature, between the green mountains and the lake. Here, it seems as if we are returning to times past, where tradition is still handed down. Even the typical culinary products linked to the territory maintain their genuineness, guaranteeing unique flavors, difficult to find elsewhere.

Giornico Castle and Vineyards– Ticino

If you want to discover more of the Canton Ticino, we suggest other interesting itineraries:

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