Indemini – romantic stone village

Ticino

Indemini - Schweiz, Tessin: links Monte Tamaro mit Alpe Sciaga rechts im Bild

Indemini - Schweiz, Tessin: links Monte Tamaro mit Alpe Sciaga rechts im Bild

In Indemini, the houses are all built of local grey gneiss rock, with slate roofs and wooden outbuildings. This typical Ticino village with its twisty alleyways is in a quiet, almost lonely location behind the hills of the Gambarogno south of Lake Maggiore.

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Right at the end of the otherwise Italian Veddasca valley, where the little river Giona flows down to the Italian part of Lake Maggiore, at a good 930 m, lies the only Swiss village, Indemini. Set amid unspoilt scenery and vast chestnut woods, this traditional village at the southern foot of Monte Tamaro enjoys a particularly sheltered, sunny location.

It is only since the end of the First World War that a beautifully scenic winding road on the Swiss side has led from Vira over the Neggia Pass (1395 m) to the border village (you can go by post bus). At one time the inhabitants in remote Indemini supplemented their meagre income from farming by smuggling. There is a permanent exhibition of photographs in the local museum in Indemini that tells the story of how hard those times often were.

In more recent times, the sympathetic development of tourism has stopped people moving away from the village. On hot days, idyllic places by the stream tempt visitors in for a swim. Cheese is made in the surrounding mountain huts. Today, Indemini has numerous holiday homes in its renovated stone houses and even in winter attracts nature-loving visitors who are seeking peace and quiet. The area is particularly popular in autumn when the chestnuts are ready.

The countryside around Monte Tamaro is popular with walkers and bikers. The nearby top of the Neggia Pass is the starting point for short walks to the top of the Tamaro at 1961m or the Gambarogno at 1734 m. From the Gambarogno there are spectacular views of Lake Maggiore and the Alps; the most famous thing about the Tamaro, apart from the fantastic panoramic view from the highest peak in the area, is the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, designed by leading architect Mario Botta. A beautiful ridge-top walk links Monte Tamaro to Monte Lema (cable-car from Miglieglia in the Malcantone region).

Highlights

  • Picturesque village – with its stone houses built of local grey gneiss, the appearance of Indemini is remarkably unspoilt.
  • Monte Tamaro – about 1.5 hour's walk from the Alpe di Neggia (or by cable-car from the Ceneri Pass). The church of Santa Maria degli Angeli by Mario Botta is near the Alpe Foppa.
  • High-altitude walk from Monte Tamaro to Monte Lema – one of the best walks for views of the foothills of the Alps anywhere in Ticino.
  • Chapel on the Sant’Anna Pass – on the historic pass over to Lake Maggiore you'll find this little chapel where the hermit's cell is still used as a refuge by walkers.

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