We left Leysin on Thursday morning and decided to take the scenic, longer route towards Lavertezzo stopping in Andermatt along the way for lunch. About an hour into our trip, we came across this suspension bridge in Bellwald and just had to stop… My knees may have been shaking a bit as we made our way across. And come to find out, this bridge, the Goms Bridge, was built only this past summer to connect the Bellwald and Ernen hiking areas. It’s 92 meters high and 280 meters long.
Our road trip continued over the Furka Pass and into Andermatt for lunch. We found a great restaurant called Cafe Toutoune that we would definitely recommend. We had toasted sandwiches, Carbonara pasta and Flammkuchen (really thin ham, onion & sour cream pizza). After lunch, we walked around for a bit and enjoyed the “Swissness” of Andermatt’s old chalets and charming main street.
Only in Switzerland would you have a rustic, beautiful chalet with a modern, sleek addition connected!
This place. How picturesque!
Our original plan after lunch was to then take the St. Gotthard pass south toward Ticino, but we realized 1 pass (aka: 100 hairpin turns from the Furka pass) was enough for 1 day. Instead, we took the highway tunnel south through the mountain. The total driving time was about 4.5 hours when we finally pulled into Lavertezzo.
For centuries the people lived, in the summer months, in the Verzasca valley and migrated in the winter, with their cattle, to the lower valleys. Lavertezzo sits back in the Verzasca valley right along the Verzasca river. It’s one of the most romantic places we’ve ever been. The traditional stone buildings look like something out of a fairy tale and it’s the perfect starting point for many famous hikes including this one.
The water was stunning. The clearest I’ve ever seen.
The Airbnb we booked for the weekend was located in Sambugaro, a small village (25 residents) just above Lavertezzo in the Verzasca valley. Our stay there was absolutely wonderful. Rosemarie and her husband, Gil, were fabulous hosts and their cottage was fully equipped with everything we needed for an enjoyable stay. And the views from their balconies were breathtaking. Right outside the kitchen window was a huge waterfall… I’d do dishes more often with a view like that! There was also an outdoor terrace with gas grill that would make it the perfect barbecue lunch spot. They also own several other cottages in Lavertezzo and they are all very reasonably priced. Take a look at them here. Here are a few photos of the interior of our cottage:
Kelley kept the firing going so we stayed cozy warm!
And here’s the outside of the home. It’s the one with the skylight in the middle of the photo.
I felt like a little kid again exploring the narrow cobblestone sidewalks throughout this tiny ‘neighborhood’. Around every corner was another photo op.
If you do decide to stay in this area, stop at the coop grocery store in Gordola before you make the drive back into the mountain towards Lavertezzo. The road is narrow and full of tight turns so it’s not a drive you want to make repeatedly just to ‘grab some milk’.
On the way home, we took the Google recommended route which was still not an easy ride, but beautiful none the less. It took us through the tiny town of Re, Italy where this beautiful basilica sat right along the road.
We then traveled through Domodossola, Italy and put our car on the train to travel under the Simplon pass (rather than over the curvy, make you carsick, pass). It’s the perfect time for everyone to take a 20 minute nap! Check the times of the train here because it only runs once an hour.
Though there’s no “easy” route to getting to Lavertezzo, it definitely won’t be our last trip!
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