To this day, ancient chestnut groves are carefully tended. Thick, gnarled trees that stand on a brown-yellow carpet of ferns turn the mountain valley into a park-like landscape. The “Sentiero del castagno”, or Chestnut Trail, near Arosio points the way from grove to grove and informs the hiker about the chestnut culture in Malcantone.
To this day, it is not clear how the region got its name. There have been several assumptions; one of them implies that “Mal Cantone” was a region of many evils. Today this is certainly not true at all: Switzerland Tourism has bestowed the award “Switzerland pure” on a project in Malcantone. In former times iron ore was mined here and subsequently forged in the region’s mills. This trade has long since died out, but some of the mines, forges, and mills can still be visited on the hiking trail “Sentiero delle Meraviglie”.
In the Monte Caslano National Park, visitors see characteristic examples of Ticino’s geological and botanical variety. In the valleys of Malcantone, rich artistic and cultural treasures are encountered. For example, the Castelrotto (castle ruin), a church that reminds one of late-medieval castles, or the churches Santo Stefano in Miglieglia and San Michele in Arosio with their frescoes, or numerous museums, such as the Chocolate Museum and the Fishery Museum in Caslano. Winegrowing has also gained in importance, in particular the cultivation of Merlot grapes.
- Monte Lema – a hiking paradise located at 1621 meters on the Swiss-Italian border, offering fantastic views of Lake Lugano and Langensee (Lago Maggiore), Milan and the Swiss Alps. A modern cable car starts in Miglieglia.
- Chocolate Museum “Alprose” in Caslano – tells the history of chocolate and its most important manufacturing stages: from the cocoa’s country of origin, to the transport to the factory, to the finished product.
- A variety of small mountain villages – typical Ticinese stone house, narrow lanes, rustic grottoes (Ticinese inns) as well as historic churches and quaint villages, e.g., in Mugena, Vezio or Fescoggia.
- Chestnut Adventure Trail – near Arosio in Upper Malcantone, offers panoramic views over Malcantone in addition to cozy chestnut groves.
- «Sentiero delle meraviglie» – the path of wonderful things. Remainders of erstwhile mills, natural stonewalls, hammer mills, castle ruins, furnaces and ore mines.