The tiny Swiss village of Lavertezzo, just north of Locarno in Ticino, has suddenly found itself basking in the glow of internet infamy after a short, 75-second video of its clear turquoise-coloured waters and its romantic double-arched bridge went viral.
Shot by the Italian blogger Capedit, the footage shows four friends jumping from the smooth rocks and diving into the jade depths of the Verzasca river with the famous Ponte dei Salti bridge in view in the background. Over 2.5 million people have already watched the video, which extols the natural wonders of the valley and waxes lyrical about its proximity to Milan, which is just an hour away by car. However, Lavertezzo locals have also complained that the increase in visitors has led to littering and unruly behaviour.
Speaking to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica about the video, Lavertezzo mayor Roberto Bacciarini said: ‘he did a good job, but it would be a favour to us if he could ask his compatriots to park correctly and respect the rules of the place.’ The village official also confirmed that tourist numbers were ‘under control.’
Lavertezzo has long been a bathing haven for locals and travellers, and the Ponte dei Salti bridge was constructed over 400 years ago. The village has some excellent hiking trails leading off into the Verzasca Valley as well as the small, but architecturally impressive Beata Vergine degli Angeli church.
Just south of the village is Switzerland’s lowest-altitude town, Locarno, a Mediterranean-style town at the foot of the Alps and on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Among its many highlights is the Santuario della Madonna del Sasso, a sanctuary in the hills just a 20-minute hike from the town centre. A funicular also runs every 15 minutes from the town up to the sanctuary.