The Stone has always been the central element of the geography, history and economy of the Riviera. Discover the silent witnesses of modifications of the territory and of the communities that have occurred over time between Bellinzona and the “Three Ambrosian Valleys”.
From the capital of the Ticino Canton to the lower Blenio Valley, the long itinerary “Living with the Stone” crosses the entire Riviera and makes it possible to join the two other itineraries “The Nature of Stone” and “Working the Stone”. Two options are proposed, which allow discovering the Benedictine Monastery of Santa Maria Assunta above Claro and the path between the church of the SS. Pietro e Paolo and Santa Petronilla in Biasca. The path in Blenio Valley, preferably to be walked by foot (13 km, 4h30), is a circular route among historical monuments, traditional vineyards and rupestrian archaeology.
The territory of the Via della Pietra, including the whole Riviera, the lower parts of Leventina and Blenio valleys and the northern part of Bellinzona region, is double-stranded with the stone, both under its purely naturalistic sense and in terms of historical and social aspects related with this natural resource.
From an exclusively geological point of view, we are indeed in the deepest core of the Alps. The stone marked profoundly this territory since the Prehistory; it is located since the late Middle Ages along the “Via delle Genti” and is connoted by its linkage with the building stone since the modern era. Considering the volume of quarried material, the Riviera is today the most important extraction region for natural stone in Switzerland.
With the construction of the Gotthard railway at the end of the nineteenth century, the natural stone of the Riviera has spread throughout Switzerland. Throughout the country, monuments and public buildings – especially railway stations, banks and administrative buildings – were built and decorated with Riviera gneisses or Castione marbles. The Riviera stone has also crossed oceans, steppes and deserts. Indeed, we can find it for example in New York, in Moscow, in Saudi Arabia or also in the almost inaccessible Kazakhstan and as well in many European countries.
La Via della Pietra: all the details, the routes descriptions and the insights related to this itinerary: http://www.viadellapietra.ch/.
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
Learn about the other two routes of the La Via della Pietra project:
Working the stone: throughout the lower Leventina Valley and part of the right side of the Riviera.
The nature of stone: between Castione and Biasca, this itinerary allows discovering some of the most remarkable natural sites of the Riviera.