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Image 0 - Via della pietra - The nature of stone
Image 1 - Via della pietra - The nature of stone
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Via della pietra - The nature of stone

The stone is the base element of every natural environment, on which the biodiversity develops. Discover the many aspects of the nature of stone, its importance in the landscape shaping, its interactions with living organisms and Man. 

Between Castione and Biasca, this itinerary allows discovering some of the most remarkable natural sites of the Riviera. If you want to stay on the valley floor, it is easily feasible with the bike in about 1h15. The walking path between Claro and Osogna – 11 km achievable in 4h30 – is particularly adequate for discovering the lowest “monti” of the left side of the valley, with their view on the valley, and the spectacular landforms shaped by the waters of the Boggera (Valle di Cresciano) and Nala (Val d’Osogna) streams.

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 stops descriptions and the insights related to this itinerary: http://www.viadellapietra.ch/

Tips

The itinerary can be done also in stages; the stages on the valley floor can be travelled by bike.

  • Hiking boots
  • Sun cap
  • Water-bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Hiking map
  • Camera

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

Alternative routes

Living with the stone: 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.

Working the stone: throughout the lower Leventina Valley and part of the right side of the Riviera.