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  • Historical Sonvico Nature Trail
  • Historical Sonvico Nature Trail
  • Historical Sonvico Nature Trail
  • Historical Sonvico Nature Trail
  • Historical Sonvico Nature Trail
  • Historical Sonvico Nature Trail
  • Historical Sonvico Nature Trail
  • Historical Sonvico Nature Trail
  • Historical Sonvico Nature Trail
  • Historical Sonvico Nature Trail
  • Historical Sonvico Nature Trail
  • Historical Sonvico Nature Trail

Theme Trails – The Historical Sonvico Nature Trail

Stage 3: Graad

Chestnuts ensured the food subsistence for the population even during the winter. Amongst the many ways of preserving this precious fruit for an extended time, is the desiccation of the chestnuts in the graad.

There are different kinds of them: from the simplest ones placed in the fireplace's flue, to more substantial ones built in the houses' lofts, which exploit the smoke and the heat of the house. There are also graads built separately: small buildings on two floors. The second floor was accessible through a small door. Here the chestnuts were placed on a grid on the floor. On the ground floor people lit a fire to produce smoke and heat. It was, therefore, important to choose the right fuel, usually chestnut tree wood, and to check daily the burning process. This had to go on for several weeks. The chestnuts were turned over several times during the week.

Usually this was a community activity that involved many families. Once dried, the chestnuts were put into bags and two or three men, with rhythm and regularity, beat these bags against a tree to remove the skins from the chestnuts. The women then used a winnowing fan (val), a special basket with two handles, to remove the chestnuts' skins. By grinding the dried chestnuts, a type of flour was obtained, called ur panisciö, used to prepare a soft polenta.

  1. Related Excursions

    The Historical Sonvico Nature Trail
    Stage 1: Well and "Riaron"
    Stage 2: House of Reason
    Stage 4: Cassinel
    Stage 5: The mixed broadleaf woods
    Stage 6: Geological oddities
    Stage 7: Mill and bridge
    Stage 8: The glade in the wood
    Stage 9: The torrent Franscinone
    Stage 10: Wash-house
    Stage 11: The birds of the wood
    Stage 12: The eroded valley of the Franscinone
    Stage 12: Water and energy
    Stage 13: The edge of the flood-level wood
    Stage 14: Dairy farm for the processing of milk
    Stage 15: Lime-kiln
    Stage 16: The rural area
    Stage 17: The Humid area of Canéed
    Stage 18: The earth kiln for charcoal production
    Stage 19: Terracing
    Stage 20: Madonna d'Arla
    Stage 21: The Chestnut Wood of Pian Piret
    Stage 22: The Beechwood
    Stage 23: The Boulder with Engraved Cupels
    Stage 23: I Denti della Vecchia
    Stage 24: R’Alborón
    Stage 25: The Oratory of S. Martino
    Stage 26: The old center of Sonvico
    Stage 27: The Walnut Press
    Stage 28: The Church of Saint John the Baptist

  2. How to arrive

    The Luganese Regional Bus Line covers the Lugano – Sonvico stretch; from Val Colla you can reach Sonvico, using the postal bus from Tesserete to Sonvico.

    Journey by public transports!

  3. Signalization

    Sonvicosentierostorico Adesivo

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