In Love With Earth

Denti della Vecchia

Admire the upper triassic dolomitic rocks walking among a forest of pines and beeches

Mar 12, 2022
Villa Luganese, Ticino, Switzerland
Cloudy and misty
Min -5°C, Max 0°C

The hike

From Lugano train station me and V. got the ARL bus 461 direction Villa luganese. We reached Villa Luganese at 10:15 and from the bus stop we just crossed the road to begin the trail.

From Villa Luganese up to Alpe Bolla the trail has some segments with a high incline but we were distracted from colourful flowers along it.

Viola riviniana
A Viola riviniana (Wood violet)
Scilla bifolia
A Scilla bifolia (Alpine squill)
Primula vulgaris
A Primula vulgaris (Primrose)

About at 12:00 we reached Alpe Bolla and after one hour we reached the Denti della Vecchia and from here up to Capanna Pairolo happens that we had a foot in Switzerland and one in Italy 😜

The border between Switzerland and Italy
The border between Switzerland and Italy: the yellow signs are in Switzerland the grey signs are in Italy

In this part of the trail the flora is different from the lower segments. It is a mix of pines and beeches (present in the lower part) and even flowers are different.

A Christmas rose
A Helleborus niger (Christmas rose)

V., who had already done the trail a few years ago, had anticipated that the best part of the trail would pass through the Denti della Vecchia and she was definitely right. To make things even better we were lucky enough to meet a herd of about ten deer.

At Sasso Grande we had a stop to take some aerial shots of this majestic pinnacle and to just take a break contemplating the beautiful panorama. Are you able to spot the pink and grey dots (we are there)? (Hint: bottom right)

Sasso Grande aerial view
The aerial view of Sasso Grande

We left Sasso Grande headed to Capanna Pairolo. After Sasso Palazzo we continued across the wood and at a certain point the trees looked as in bloom. Getting closer we realised that them were not in bloom but covered by ice

Frozen trees
Frozen trees (photo credits: V. G.)
Frozen trees
The ice on the tree

After this magical part of the trail started the bad part 😕. The trail up to Capanna Pairolo was almost entirely covered by ice. It was slippery and in addition the wind and the temperature got colder. At some point I looked behind me to check if V. was still there: I felt her pain watching her face. Even with two pairs of gloves she felt the hands frozen. We take a break. Using the sticks the blood circulation is not perfect. It was enough to let the arms hang down for a few minutes to improve blood circulation and feel the hands warm again. She started to dream about a glass of whisky 😂

Unfortunately the path became even worse so I suggested to V. that the best technique from here on was the "Sticks and blasphemies".

With a lot of patience and smiles (we continuosly said stupid things to keep the moral high) we finally reached Capanna Pairolo. From here we began the descent to Villa Luganese and luckily the trail was easy and without ice.

Before getting the bus back, we stopped at Osteria Grotto Degli Amici to drink something. I tasted my whisky (aaah bad companies 😂) in front of the fireplace listening to good music. Yes, I am spoiled 😌.


Departure Villa LuganeseArrival Villa Luganese