Bondo and Promontogno
at the entrance of the Bondasca Valley
At the entrance of the Bondasca Valley, 823 meters (2700 ft), lies the charming village of Bondo. The densely built village has narrow, winding, cobbled alleys and roads and an old stone bridge. Particularly worth visiting is the church San Martino, which was consecrated in 1520 and decorated with remarkable frescoes at the end of the 15th century. Next to the church, is the grave of the painter Varlin, who lived in Bondo for a long time. Between the village and the south-facing open meadows stands the grand Palazzo Salis and its magical garden, both built between 1765 and 1774.
Along the road to Promontogno, under the gigantic chestnut trees are the typical "Crotti" (natural caves used to preserve cheese and meat). In Promontogno, on the banks of the Maira River is an old mill, which is still used to grind wheat and dried chestnuts. Although Spanish soldiers burned down both villages in 1621, there are still numerous massive stone houses that are a testament to history.
Above the village, where the valley narrows, stands a medieval tower and, next to it, Nossa Dona Church, which was already mentioned in 998. This church was abandoned during the 16th century and restored between 1845 and 1850. Not far below, stands "Lan Müraia", a medieval fortification wall, which originated during Roman times. These walls represent the historic border between the valley's "Sottoporta" (Lower Bregaglia) and "Sopraporta" (Upper Bregaglia).