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Traveling in the Swiss Valley of Bregaglia continued – Part Three – Bondo and Soglio
Driving through the Swiss Valley of Bregaglia means you can stop at all of the adorable Swiss valley towns. Below I describe the main stops one should make. Enjoy the scenery and keep reading to learn about these charming Swiss towns. After the border town of Castasegna (mentioned in the previous post) you approach a fork in the road leading one way to the quaint town of Bondo at the valley floor and the other that leads high into the mountains to Soglio.
Bondo is a charming town that is pretty much all pedestrian, so drive off the main road and park at the small parking lot and get out to explore this small town on foot.
The history of Bondo says the town dates back to 1250 and had about 200 buildings until a fire in 1621, which destroyed the village. The town rebuilt and it appears that all of the buildings date back to just after the fire as you will see a set of two dates carved into the stones above the doorways, one date for when the house was built and another for when it was renovated.
Interesting Fact: This two-date system can also be seen throughout the valley and even up into the Engadin Valley with St. Mortiz.
In the center of Bondo you will find a small church, S. Maria, with late 15th century frescos. Note that the fresco of the last super in the church of Bondo has the apostles enjoying a meal of what appears to be cray fish, which I must say I have not seen before.
And on the outskirts of Bondo you will find large wooden structures that are barns and storage for hay. These wooden barns are another common feature in the Bregaglia Valley.
Soglio is a wonderful Swiss town filled with stone houses, wooden barns, and every turn provides spectacular views of the mountains. In fact, Soglio is said to be one of the most picturesque towns in Switzerland!
After visiting Bondo at the foot of the valley you can drive up to Soglio, which sits at 1,090 meters (Bondo is at 823 meters). The earliest mention of Soglio is from 1219 and like Bondo you can see two dates above many doorways. This is another town you can park, get out and walk through. Many hiking trails start in Soglio as well and you will see yellow signs indicating how long it takes to walk to certain points which is always helpful, although I don’t know who’s walking pace these times are based on.
Interesting fact: The yellow signs with times and distances are a common feature throughout Switzerland where hiking is a great hobby.
If you spend the night in the valley I would recommend the Hotel Palazzo Salis which is in the heart of Soglio, sports a gorgeous garden in the back which is home to two giant sequoia trees trees, and cozy Swiss interiors. Or you can also just stop in for a gelato in the spring and summer time or a good cappuccino in the winter. The historic Hotel Palazzo Salis was built in 1630 and the baroque rose garden dates back to 1701.