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Along the ridge that forms the watershed between Onsernone and Centovalli, the path winds its way from the Comino Mountains to the summit of Pizzo Ruscada. At 1635 m of altitude you reach the Corte Nuovo alp, testimony of a rural civilization that has now disappeared and of a life that was not at all easy in the past, as Federico Merz documents in his book "The Alps in the Canton of Ticino", published in 1911.


“Even in the Centovalli Alps, that is, on the Valle di Palagnedra and Cortenovo Alps, Ruscada, Tecciolungo, Costa dei calelli and Lombardone di Borgnone now only 50 cows and 260 goats graze. In this valley the ancestors deprived the whole slope towards south of almost all the beautiful woods that up to 1800 m covered those pleasant hills. Because of these rash cuts of woods and the strong emigration, the beekeeping went more and more withering away. All the pastures are now cluttered with drose, alpine roses, junipers, blueberries, etc; most of the buildings need to be restored and the streets are in ruins. "


The statistics relating to that period attest to the presence on Alpe Corte Nuovo of:

  • 15 cows

  • 5 beef

  • 40 goats

  • 3 pigs


for a production that was:

  • 2 liters of milk per day per cow,

  • 2 quintals of cheese,

  • 1.2 quintals of butter

  • 1 quintal of ricotta


The statistical data concerning the animals surveyed in the following years then confirm the progressive decline and the end of breeding in the former Municipality of Borgnone:

  • 83 cattle in 1926 which drop to 63 in 1946, to 35 in 1968, to 23 in 1983, to 10 in 2000, a number that is zero since 2001 and then remains so to the present day.

  • A similar fate with regard to pigs, which fell from 12 in 1926 to 20 in 1946, to 1 only in 1966 and then disappeared completely, already in 1983;

  • and for sheep and goats, which went from 244 in 1926 to 242 in 1946, to 44 in 1966, to 94 in 1983, to 116 in 2000 and then to 3 in 2008 and completely disappear in the following years.


The Patriciate of Borgnone, owner of several pastures that are located on this mountain, has always found himself confronted with the problem of maintaining the various buildings. If in the past, the interventions were often carried out by the mountaineers who, due to their services aimed at safeguarding the state of these buildings, requested a reduction or amnesty of the rent, today it is necessary to consider other solutions.


As for the Alpe Corte Nuovo, which from the archive documents was already rented in 1879, we started talking about a possible tourist revival already at the beginning of the eighties, an idea that for various reasons, however, struggled to materialize.


Finally in 2016, the strong determination of the current patrician administration, combined with the important support of the Locarnese National Park Candidate and the contributions of many benefactors, led to the recovery of the smallest hut, the first step in a redevelopment of the entire mountain pasture.


With six beds, this comfortable alpine refuge can be reached not only from Comino and the Onsernone Valley, but also from Costa and Lionza and from the nearby Vigezzo Valley. Officially inaugurated on 29 July 2017, it is made available to hikers who, from this enchanting place in the Alte Centovalli can admire a superb panorama over the whole region and who choose to stay overnight.

A modern way to keep the memory of the past alive and to revive a reality of the valley, an initiative already much appreciated by mountain enthusiasts which therefore deserves to continue to be supported.

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