The pinnacles of this mountain are made of dolostone of the Upper Triassic (about 215 million of years ago), a sedimentary rock eroded by wind and water, until it took on the extraordinary appearance of today.
During the Upper Triassic, the Sottoceneri lay in the depths of an ancient but not very deep sea. The Denti della Vecchia formed an organogenic barrier made of corals, algae, megalodonts, gasteropods, and other marine organisms. Through the process of sediment-compaction, called diagenesis, the barrier transformed itself into dolostone. Then the tectonic forces elevated these rocky structures to above water level to today's height of about 1500 above sea level.
The Denti della Vecchia are very interesting not only from a landscape and geological point of view, but also from the botanical and fauna's aspect.
The whole area, which also includes the peaks of Fojorìna, Mosè, Oress, and Torrione (in Italy), is characterised by a particularly rich flora. Here we find a botanical species named "endemiti" because it is very rare or exists nowhere else in Switzerland.
The pinnacles, the winding ravines, and the sheer drops of the Denti della Vecchia are the ideal habitat for a typical representative of the avifauna of this area: The Crag Martin. Whilst most species of the swallow family leave our region during the winter and migrate south, the Crag Martin is sedentary and over-winters at our latitudes.
The Historical Sonvico Nature Trail
Stage 1: Well and "Riaron"
Stage 2: House of Reason
Stage 3: Graad
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 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
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.