The Leventina is mostly known as a transit axis leading from the Gotthard Mountain to the south. At certain points in the partially narrow valley, where trains, roads and super highway emerge, one does not expect to find scenic beauty and cultural and historic sights - but this assumption is unfair.
Leventina stretches from the southern portal of the Gotthard Tunnel near Airolo alongside the Ticino River and extends southward toward the valley up to the town of Biasca. From Airolo, where a cold wind occasionally blows from the Gotthard and where pine forests predominate, it’s only 40 kilometers, but the gradient is an impressive 800 meters. Two valley levels divide the Leventina into three sections. The expressway and the railway line run via imposing architectural masterpieces in order to overcome the differences in height in the narrow valley.
The best-preserved village in the Leventina is Giornico, which has old stone buildings, paved roads and two impressive arched bridges across the Ticino. Here, in the Casa Stanga, you will find the Leventina Museum and one of Ticino’s most significant religious buildings, the beautiful Romanesque San Nicola Church - one of several Romanesque masterpieces in the Leventina - with beautifully preserved frescoes.
High above the Leventina, the high altitude trail “Sentiero Alto del Tremorgio” runs from the Pesciüm Mountain Station (1745m) near Airolo, through a sparse mountain forest and romantic landscapes to the mountain lake of Tremorgio. Hike down to Prato, or ride the cable car across the valley to Rodi.
Even down in the valley unforgettable adventures await. For example, hiking the historic mule-traders path through the narrow Piottino Gorge, which, besides the Schöllenen Gorge and Via Mala, is one of Switzerland’s most impressive transit routes.