Published/updated on 18.05.2016 by GabrielleMerk | 12403 points | Date of Tour: 15.05.2016 | Favourite Entries (5)
The Maggia Valley in the Ticino is renowned for its side valleys such as the Bavona, Lavizzara, Vergoletto, Bosco Gurin, Peccia… but some of the lesser known side valleys are also worth discovering, such as the “Valle del Salto” (Valley of the Jump, referring to the waterfall at the mouth of the valley) just East and above the town of Maggia.
The valley is easy to access via a path that leads first through the heart of the town, then about 20 minutes up stone steps through vineyards and forest to the little chapel (Santa Maria della Pioda) perched on the top of the cliff. From the location of the chapel (which contains frescoes from the 15th century), you have splendid views down the Maggia Valley.
The Valle del Salto consists of mostly heavily forested steep slopes with the odd pasture and cluster of renovated Rustici homes, reinforcing how beautiful the Ticino wilderness is, and how difficult life must have been for farmers of yore. Kilometers of retaining walls, well-laid stone steps, and small stone shelters hanging on the steep slopes attest to years of backbreaking work.
The trail is mostly uphill toward the back of the valley and downhill coming out with a few level sections along the way, passing across several wild streams that cleave the slopes and many huge old hollowed-out chestnut trees along the way. At the back where a side trail heads steep uphill to pass into the Verzasca Valley is a small dam creating a couple of attractive pools…. A good place to stop for a picnic.