Valle di Blenio

Welcome to Blenio, valley of sunshine, villas and museums

Covering this region awakens memories of childhood when every day seemed to be blessed by sunshine. Here, pastel hues and vibrant colour seem to be woven into the very fabric of life Although modest about their achievements, the hard-working character of the people of this valley can be seen in the several historic factories still standing today. The most famous of these produced chocolate, which lives on today only in the collective memory of this picture-postcard valley and its inhabitants. The small villages, which dot the wooded hillsides, come dramatically to life when drummers march through the usually quiet streets at the head of a procession of soldiers in Napoleonic costumes. Then, for another year, the villagers and their families can go quietly about their business again. Hundreds of small "rustici" (former agricultural buildings turned into holiday homes) make the Valley of the Sun into one huge hotel, where both the waters and the plants have healing properties. The love of the local people for their region is visible in the quality of local craftsmanship and in the delicious local products that fill the larders. Here, both sunshine and tradition abound: wherever you look, the ancient ruins of a castle or the sober rooms of a museum recall past splendours; a centuries old wine press brings to mind memorable red wines from historic vineyards. The vegetation on the mountainsides conceals a vast network of hiking paths. These lead up to terraces that appear suspended in mid-air and offer magnificent views whichever way you look. The higher you climb the more the spirit soars and the more conducive the atmosphere becomes to meditation. Unsurprisingly therefore, almost at the top of the Luckmanier there is a centre for the study of the indissoluble link between man and nature. This is Blenio; bright and sunny even in winter, when the snow covered slopes echo with the tinkling laughter of schoolchildren, and on the valley floor, cross-country skiers skim along to the rhythmic sound of their own breathing and the stream rushing alongside. Blenio, where the sun takes centre-stage.