The “Via del Ferro” is a themed route that explores the ironworks and mines that have characterised the upper Valle Morobbia since the early 18th century. It visits a number of fascinating historic sites, including the spectacular ruins of the tilt hammer and furnace in Carena, mines shrouded in mystery and the reconstruction of a charcoal pile. The path winds its way through the evocative Alpine environment of the Alpe Giumello, crossing through a rare dwarf mountain pine wood to the Giggio forest.
The themed route departs from Piazza della Via del Ferro in Carena, home to a commemorative statue and the first information boards. It visits all the points of interest associated with mining and working iron that developed in the upper valley during the second half of the 15th century and between the 18th and 19th centuries. It is therefore possible to visit the ruins of the Maglio e Forno (tilt hammer and furnace) in Carena, brought to light after almost two centuries of abandonment, the two mines in the Valletta rediscovered in 2005 (the inside of the mines may only be visited as part of a guided tour) and the reconstruction of a charcoal pile.
As well as learning more about these historic industries thanks to the information boards dotted along the route, this excursion also allows you to immerse yourself in the breathtaking Alpine landscape of the upper valley, bringing you into direct contact with beekeeping on the Alpe Giumello and the reforestation that took place in the Giggio area during the first half of the last century.
The Via del Ferro is a themed cross-border route that follows the historic paths that once linked the Valle Morobbia via the Motto della Tappa or Cima Verta (2078 metres above sea level) with the Lombard valleys of Cavargna and Albano, also home to a number of mines and ironworks. Significant traces of historic ironworking activities are preserved here too: settlements, charcoal piles, post houses, and paths linking extraction areas (quarries and mines), processing areas (blast furnaces, forges and water-powered tilt hammers) and trading sites.
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.
- Waterproof clothing, light and warm
- Hiking boots
- Gloves, sun cap, change of clothes
- Backpack maximum 5-8 kg
- First aid kit with penknife
- Torch, sunglasses, sun cream, water-bottle
- Hiking map/topographic map
- Raincover for backpacks
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