Via Bregaglia, points of interest along the trail
Sights along the route
These beautiful places and interesting buildings are worth a visit.
The famous painter Giovanni Segantini spent the last years of his life in Maloja, the area inspired him to paint. Today, the round building with the panoramic view, the Sentiero Segantini and the family grave in the small mountain cemetery remind us of this.
The tower was built in 1882 as a family seat for the count Camille de Renesse. The tower and the connected hotel were completed between 1896 and 1993. After various purposes, the Belvedere became property of the Swiss Nature Conservation Union in 1953. The hotel was demolished, and the watchtower remained as Maloja’s landmark.
The Praetorium was the seat of the town hall and the court of the valley, as well as the seat for customs revenue. There was a prison in the tower as well. The instruments of torture can be seen there, as well as the columns of the gallows in the area around the hall, place of execution also of those accused of witchcraft.
The imposing neo-Gothic building dates back to 1850 – 1855. Baron Giovanni de Castelmur enlarged patrician castle of the Redolfi family by adding the south wing with crenellated towers. The interior decoration is in the style of Louis Philippe. On the second floor there is an exhibition about the confectioners of Grisons abroad. The historical archive contains documentation about the valley of Bregaglia.
Ciäsa Granda Museum und Giacometti-Varlin Gallery
The "casa grande" (big house) was built in 1581 by Giovanni Stampa and was bought and renovated in the 50's of the last century by the "Società Culturale di Bregaglia" (Bregaglia Cultural Society). Today it is the house of culture. For several decades the "Ciäsa Granda" was a museum with ethnographic documentation of the valley, a mineral collection and a natural history museum. In the modern hall, in the basement, the works of the artist families Giacometti and Varlin are exhibited.
The village Soglio
The painter Giovanni Segantini, who spent few years in winter here, called Soglio "La soglia del paradiso" (the threshold to paradise). The village is situated on a sunny terrace on the northern slope of the valley at 1090 m.a.s.l. You have a unique view on the majestic peaks of the Sciora group on the other side of the valley. In the labyrinth of stone-paved alleys and narrow old houses you can feel the past.
The "Artigianale Bregaglia" is unique in its structure. All the products are handcrafted by artisans of the valley. An inventive way to approach the valley's handicrafts and its inhabitants. The "Artigianale Bregaglia" gives visitors an impression of rural culture and daily life in the valley: wooden toys, lanterns, crockery, kitchen utensils, knitted - or fabric dolls, potholders, sweaters and children's clothes, hand-woven blankets and many other original and unique products, which are beautiful, natural and useful precisely because of their simplicity. The handicrafts can be admired and bought at the "Bottega dell'Artigianale" in Soglio.
The Chestnut Trail
The chestnut wood is of great importance for the history and culture of the village of Castasegna. Therefore, an educational trail with information boards has been created. There you can find information about the specific aspects of the flora and fauna of the area, as well of the varieties and their cultivation of the chestnuts. In a Cascina (hut), which is still used today, visitors can learn all about the drying and processing of chestnuts.
The Villa Garbald is a restored semper villa with exposed frescoes in the style of illusionist painting. A modern, award-winning tower has been added to the garden, which is used as a seminar center of the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology). It’s available for external groups as well.
Museum of the excavations of Piuro
In the church of Sant'Abbondio di Piuro is an exhibition of the remains of old Piuro, buried by a rockfall in 1618. Among the objects on display there are liturgical pieces, family coats of arms and pieces in soapstone. On the walls hang prints that were published about Piuro before and after the accident in various European countries from 1618 onwards.
Waterfalls of Acqua Fraggia
The waterfalls in the Italian part of Bregaglia are worth a visit. Since 1984 the are a natural monument. The beautiful park, the vita parcous, cycling- and numerous of hiking paths offer moments of relaxion and entertainment.
The romanesque churches of Santa Croce
In the district of Santa Croce are two important romaneque churches. The church of San Martino in Aurogo dates back to the 11th century and is decorated with valuable ancient frescoes. The church “Rotonda” is located on the other side of the river Mera. A precious winged altarpiece is kept in it.
The village of Savogno
Densely built houses, narrow stepped alleys and stables define the image of this ancient village. Savogno, with its houses made of wood and stone is one of the most important examples of spontaneous architecture. It dominates the valley and offers a unique panorama. Savogno is also the starting point for numerous hiking trails.
Palazzo Vertemate Franchi
This masterpiece of the Renaissance is situated in Prosto di Piuro, a district of Cortinaccio, just two walking kilometres from Chiavenna. The walls and ceilings are richly decorated with frescoes, which shows scenes from the Greek mythology. The wooden lined rooms and the ceilings with wooden inlays are the pride of the place.
Soapstone and linen production
Among the old traditional professions of the Bregaglia valley, the extraction and working of soapstone are particularly noteworthy. In the museums you can admire objects, among which the “laveggi” (pots), which are produced with grad skill. In the same building there is a linen weaving mill where carpets and fabrics of particularly good quality are woven.
The town of Chiavenna
“Clavenna”, the key to the Alps, was already an important centre on the journey to the Rhine basin in Roman times. Today it is a tourist and cultural town with an exceptionally well-preserved historic centre.
Inside the impressive collegiate church of San Lorenzo there is a museum. A rich collection of precious vestments and church accessories, a rare 11th century musical codex and a masterpiece of medieval gold-plated pliancy - the "Pace di Chiavenna", a 12th century Gospel binding, and also a gold relief work with precious stones and precious miniatures can be seen there.
Baptismal front Sant Lorenzo
It dates from 1156 and is made from a single piece of soapstone with a diameter of 180cm and a height of 83cm. The edge bears an inscription that recalls the names of the consuls of the two municipalities that commissioned the work and the artist who executed it. The relief that adorns the basin describes the ceremony of Holy Saturday, when the water for baptism was consecrated.
Mill of Bottonera
Located in the old handcraft quarter of Chiavenna. It is a rare example of industrial architecture. Even today you can still feel the tireless working atmosphere of the 19th century millers. On the four floors you can admire the artistic carpentry of this wooden structure.
Botanical and archaeological park “Paradiso”
The park, surrounded by the vast natural reserve “Marmitte dei Giganti”, offers the possibility to see different botanical species and numerous of archaeological and historical remains. You can also enjoy a great view over the whole valley. It is possible to visit the “Torrione” tower with