This trip starts at Biasca, in the lower reaches of Valle di Blenio and can be made either by car or public transport. Travelling north the road divides at Legiuna – one way continues on the main road towards Malvaglia (church of Saint Martin 16thC with an imposing external mural of Saint Christopher). The alternative follows the right bank of the river Brenno as far as Semione ( Cappella dei Morti or ‘chapel of the dead’ with 15thC frescoes by the Seregnese Masters as well as a museum of minerals and fossils.) then Ludiano and its herb fields. The two roads join together again at Motto di Blenio and continue to Dongio where you can see the so-called ‘case dei Pagani’ (houses of the pagans) almost completely camouflaged against the rock face. At Acquarossa the road divides again. To the right it leads to Lottigna (museo di Blenio and the 15thC house of the Landfogti) then Torre, where the herb-processing centre and offices have been housed in the old chocolate factory, Cima Norma, since 2000. There is a modern air-dryer, a mill for grinding herbs and a machine for mixing the herbs according to the final recipes of the COFIT (Società Cooperativa per i Fitoprodotti Ticinesi): Tisana Olivone(herb tea) Caramelle COFIT(herb toffees), and Olio del Buongustaio(vegetable oil) If you take the left turn at Acquarossa you’ll pass through Prugiasco at Castro and Ponto Valentino, each of which have their own herb fields. From Acquarossa both roads eventually converge again at Aquila where there are another three herb fields. Keep going north to Olivone – the heart of the project for the development and promotion of the cultivation of herbs. This is where it all started with the first herb field in 1997, the centre for seminars and the ‘Istituto Alpino di Fitofarmacologia.’ At Drosina-Dötra there is another experimental field.
Biasca: Chiesa of SS Peter and Paul, and Casa Cavalier Pellanda
Malvaglia: Chiesa di san Martino
Semione: Ruins of the Castello di Serravalle. Museum of minerals and fossils, tel: 091 870 12 61. Cappella dei Morti (chapel of the dead)
Dongio: Casa dei Pagani (their original function is not clear - ? fortress, ? refuge,? store rooms, ?hermitage.) History suggests that they were inhabited between the 11th and 15th centuries.
Lottigna: Museo di Blenio, tel: 091 871 19 77
Negrentino: (Prugiasco) Chiesa di san Carlo
Aquila: Ponte Romano and Chiesa di S. Vittore
Olivone: Chiesa di san Martino (unusual bell tower, perhaps from 12th C), Museo di S. Martino Ca’ da Rivoi.
Centro Seminariale and Istituto Alpino di Fitofarmacologia
Recommended period: may - september
SALE OF PRODUCTS
Infusions, toffees and oil from COFIT are available throughout the canton. For an updated list call 079 400 77 48
Olivone: Panetteria Bini, bread and cakes made with herbs tel: 091 872 19 59
RESTAURANTS SERVING SPECIALITIES MADE WITH HERBS.
Ristorante Al Giardinetto Biasca, Ristorante Nazionale Biasca, Ristorante Svizzero Biasca, Ristorante La Cachette Prosito, Osteria Centrale Olivone, Ristorante Posta Olivone, Ristorante Arcobaleno Olivone
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Tour history (B00950)
First published: Donnerstag, 22. Februar 2007
Last updated: Dienstag, 28. Januar 2014
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