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December 22, 2010

Val Verzasca, Ticino, Switzerland

Val Verzasca, Ticino, Switzerland

Pack a loaf of bread, a bottle of Ticino Merlot and head to the Verzasca River.


So beautiful, so dangerous. Warning signs are posted all along the shore, though locals swim here everyday. Join them for a picnic on these implausible rocks.

Looking for cheap thrills? The gigantic Verzasca Dam is one of the world’s highest bungee-jumps, a 722-foot heart-stopping plunge. Hey, if James Bond (Golden Eye) can do it, what are you worried about?

Ticino is the southern-most canton (state) bordering Italy. It is here where you'd begin the 'Trekking dei Fiori,' a wonderous seven-day trip that begins in the palm trees of the Brissago Islands and winds up in a remote mountain hotel at the snowfields of the Basodino Glacier. Trek through vineyards and chestnut groves, zigzag into Italy, re-enter Switzerland at Bochetta, in the Valle Maggia.

If you're looking to lose yourself, this is the place. Just remember that Ticino locals feel they wound up on Swiss soil by accident. They consider themselves Italian. Drop the 'hi,' call out a friendly 'ciao' and you'll make friends everywhere you go.

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1 comment:

Amica said...

The people I know, a family that has lived in the village of Maggia for many, many generations, do NOT consider themselves Italian! The great-grandmother of the family used to say of her two Italian sons--in-law, "He's Italian......but he's nice."