The Verzasca Valley is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating river valleys of the Alpine region south of the St. Gotthard Pass, and is of genuine historical interest. The valley bears witness to the harsh life of its inhabitants, who tried to eke out a living, though nature was at times very harsh and forced them to seek out sites that nowadays beguile tourists with their charms. The discerning tourist can find all this right outside the city centre. The Valley is right before your eyes, both impassable and welcoming at the same time, and capable of slaking a broad range of desires.
The territory is comprised of numerous small communes, such as Corippo, as well as towns of some considerable size, such as Tenero-Contra, nestling in a landscape that stretches from the banks of the lake through plains and hilly vineyards right up to the mountain tops. One of the particular features is that some of the communes, such as Lavertezzo and Gerra Verzasca, are made up of a number of separate settlements at considerably different altitudes. The reason for this is that, in the past, their inhabitants used to practise a form of farming known as transhumance – spending the winter down in the plain and moving higher up the valley and onto alpine pastures for the spring and summer.
The region has an extensive network of paths, with a total length of around 300 km, and they cater for the whole range of needs: from a leisurely stroll along the lake, through sporting trails and theme walks, to high-mountain walks between peaks, passes, alpine pastures and refuges, with breath-taking views to quicken the heart of any mountain walker.
Lovers of sport and open-air activities will find a large range of interesting things to do in this region. These include sports involving water (canyoning, river diving, kite surfing and others), sports in the air (bungee jumping, the adventure park and so on) and those on solid ground (tennis, go-karts, cycling and much more) and, finally, winter sports, such as cross-country skiing and ice-skating rinks.