A once-abandoned hamlet at the head of the valley, Sonogo is enveloped by chestnut and beech woods. Its pocket-sized centre is an adorable collection of granite houses, swaddled with vines and flowers, and dwarfed totally by the scale of the rugged mountains that rise above it.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ticino attractions

1. Lavertezzo

6.82 MILES

While the church-topped village is as pretty as can be, it plays second fiddle to the grandiose backdrop of thickly forested mountains and the jade-green…

2. Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista

8.01 MILES

The centrepiece of Mogno is this extraordinary 1996 cylindrical church designed by Mario Botta. The grey (Maggia granite) and white (marble from Peccia)…

3. Corippo

8.31 MILES

Blink and you'll almost certainly miss this pint-sized hamlet, which looks as though it would topple down the terraced hillside with the slightest puff of…

4. Fusio

8.76 MILES

This pretty village sits surrounded by woods at the head of Val Lavizzara. From here the road leads to the dam holding back the emerald Lago Sambuco, from…

5. Cevio

9.12 MILES

The centrepiece of Cevio is its vibrant 16th-century Pretorio (magistrate’s court), covered in the family coats-of-arms of many of the area’s rulers,…

6. Val Bavona

10.48 MILES

A smooth road follows a mountain stream through this valley, where narrow meadows are cradled between steep rocky walls. Its tightly huddled stone and…

7. Gresso

11.86 MILES

Dwarfed by the scale of the mountains and forests rising above it, the close-knit hamlet of Gresso, with a population of just 30, is scenically perched at…

8. Santuario della Madonna del Sasso

12.05 MILES

Overlooking the town, this sanctuary was built after the Virgin Mary supposedly appeared in a vision to a monk, Bartolomeo d’Ivrea, in 1480. There’s a…