Parco delle Gole della Breggia

Points of Interest

Traces of History in the Park

Despite the geological features represent the most showy attraction in the Park, its territory is also characterized by features of historical, archaeological, scientific, and naturalistic interest. A careful observation of the general morphology, where the Po Plain meets the Prealps, gives the opportunity to understand the role played by the region in the past. As a matter of fact, since it is situated along the way of the Alps, at the border with northern Italy, it has been an important crossroads of people and goods since Prehistory.

Further information

Historical Ways

The deep furrow of Breggia has always represented a difficult obstacle to cross the valley. The Park is rich in traces of the different ways used to move from one side to another: the most ancient one is probably Murnée ford. The first information about Farügin bridge (or St Peter's Bridge) date back to 1426: it is the extraordinary bridge built between two rocky spurs, 35m above the riverbed in the narrowest point of the Gorges. The road between Castel San Pietro and Morbio Superiore, crossing the Breggia with a stone bridge called Punt da Canaa, was built around 1820. The big iron bridge (Punt da Castel) was built in 1912 and was replaced by the current concrete bridge in 1997.

Roads and bridges

Historical Monuments

The past importance of the area as a crossroads of people and goods led to the building of fortresses to control and exploit the ways of communication. In the Park surroundings and within the Park it is possible to admire the ruins of at least five fortresses. Several graves and coins dating back to the Roman period have been found on San Pietro hill, while the ruins of the perimetral halls of the castle, property and temporary residence of the Bishop of Como, date back to the Middle Ages. On the hill there were two churches: one of them, probably built in 1323 and situated within the walls, has disappeared. The other, built outside the walls by Bishop Bonifacio from Modena between 1343 and 1345, is called "Chiesa Rossa" (Red Church) and is today a national monument.

Castles and fortifications

Chiesa Rossa



Mills and other rural buildings were linked to the roads crossing the valley. The farm "del Farügin" is situated along the oldest way, on the side of Castel San Pietro, whereas «ul Mulin da Canaa» (the mill of Canaa) is located on the side of Morbio superiore, immediately after the bridge and dug into the rock. Today this mill is unfortunately partially ruined. A double mill was located in the area "ai Murnée": it has been working until the 1950s and was then destroyed to build the cement factory. After the building of the bridge of Ghitello at the end of the XVI century, a mill of the same nam was also built (1606): the mill of Ghitello is one of the most articulated and best preserved water mills in Switzerland.

Mill of Ghitello

Mill of Canaa


Industrial archaeology

Through the years the power of river Breggia has been used in several ways, first of all by mills. Along the river there are however other examples of industrial archaelogy: the pasta factory, the brewery and the Saceba cement factory, were cement was produced in 1960s and '70s using rocks which were extracted in the big quarry and in huge galleries on the opposite side of the river.

The cement factory

The brewery

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