This charming rack railway from the late Nineteenth Century takes you to the top of Monte Generoso through an unspoilt landscape. Truly breath-taking panoramas await. Continue on to discover the curious “nevère”: visiting these traditional buildings you’re taken back in time to an era when preserving milk was a huge challenge. Finally, explore the two alpages, where man and nature coexist in perfect harmony.
Leaving from Capolago-Riva San Vitale railway station, by Lake Lugano, you'll soon reach the steep slopes of Monte Generoso and its enchanting mountain train which opened in 1890. After an enchanting forty minute journey through the unspoilt natural landscape, you reach the base of the summit (1.704m). From this point you can enjoy one of the most thrilling 360° panoramas anywhere in Switzerland. The view of the Alps is unique, and gives you a wonderful 'birds eye view' across the north of Italy, the Lakes region and the alpine chain.
Follow the circular trail to discover the 11 or so "Nevere", ancient versions of our modern fridges. These fascinating cylindrical stone buildings were built by the farming communities to preserve their milk before making it into butter and cheese. This little concentration of these remarkable structures is unparalleled anywhere else in Switzerland.
From the station at the top, you can also follow the path along the eastern ridge which arrives firstly at the Nadigh alpage and, shortly after, through a pretty level section flanked by limestone slabs from the local quarries, the Genor alpage. Immediately after, the trail heads gently back up to the railway station, from where you can take the little train again once again to descend to Capolago.
To explore the route, we recommend buying the official maps of the Federal Office of Topography Swisstopo. In addition, the following website map.geo.admin.ch offers constantly updated data.
- Hiking boots
- Sun cap
- Sun cream
- Hiking map
Montagnepulite: This project was born to promote an effective management and sustainable use of mountain huts in Ticino, and in particular the litter management. The responsible management of litter in the mountains is a matter of common sense. We can all contribute: https://www.montagnepulite.ch/en/golden-rules
It is possible to take the rack railway from Capolago and stop at the intermediate Bellavista station, at 1224 m, after 25 minutes. From Bellavista, Monte Generoso's summit is about an hour or so on foot, following a stunning trail through the magnificent landscape.
Towards the very end of the path, after the Genor alpage, you find yourself at a fork: from here, you can go back up to the railway station or go down to the Bellavista intermediate station, from where you can take the little train to Capolago.