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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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