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Soglio (Switzerland): the edge of paradise

Soglio (Switzerland): the edge of paradise

Soglio is an idyllic village in the Italian Switzerland, suspended between heaven and earth, lying down  on a terrace overlooking the Val Bregaglia. It is part of the newborn  Association "The most beautiful Swiss  villages" and won the 2015 edition of the competition "The most beautiful village in Switzerland".

 Soglio Svizzera 

 The village, easily reachable from  Italy through the Valchiavenna, strikes immediately  the visitor for the old time atmosphere.  Narrow streets  lapping at old noble residences, among which stands out Palazzo Salis, now a historic hotel, with its romantic baroque garden. In this seventeenth-century residence sojourned the poet Rainer Maria Rilke.

Palazzo Salis
fontana di Soglio

The  tiny squares, adorned with fountains and wash houses,  give this town all  its charm. Walking down the  streets, you will be enchanted  by the simple  magnificence and  by the simplicity of the  rural life and its rituals. The humble stone houses  alternated  with the most refined  buildings. Going  to the borders of the village, the visitor could enjoy a stunning view, with an inestimable  sense of serenity. The tenebrous alleys give way to light and to the great  Alpine landscape  in which it is immersed this lonely little jewel  that leads to contemplation.

inverno soglio

Soglio has inspired artists and poets. One among all, the well-known  Lombard painter Giovanni Segantini, who described this  village "the edge of  paradise." Some of his masterpieces, such as the “Trittico delle Alpi” (1894-99) and  “La raffigurazione della primavera” (1897), were born here. In the Val Bregaglia was born also the great sculptor Alberto Giacometti.

inverno-primavera soglio

Some areas of the historical center prove  the passage of the Walser, a  Germanic  population  who has left its mark in many Alpine places. Thanks to its isolation, the village has been able to retain most of the  original characteristics, including the strong cultural identity of its inhabitants, called “téngar”.  For example, the dialect that is spoken there is pretty much unique.

La vita contadina di Soglio

The téngar suggest  not to leave the village before tasting the local products such as the excellent cow and goat cheese, the  traditional dried meat from Grisons region  or the chestnut cake.

photos by Andrea Resta 

By Kevin Quattropani e Alexander Powell