• 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 9: The torrent Franscinone

The movement and the mass of the torrent's water are variable and considerably influence the stability of these biotopes, continuously modifying their aspect and ecology.

The slope of a water-course determines the speed of flow and, consequently, its ecological characteristics. These characteristics also depend on the temperature, the oxygenation and the chemical composition of the water. The presence of certain animal species and the settlement of vegetation species depend on these factors. The morphologic characteristics of the Franscinone (stony bottom, presence of puddles with more or less calm water) and its oxygenated and clean waters create different environments suitable to the life of many water-borne insects. In particular we can find larvae of the Common Mayfly, the Caddis fly, and the Stonefly.

The Franscinone also hosts Mites, Leeches, and Hairworms, which can reach a length of several dozens of centimetres. A typical inhabitant of this environment is the Fire Salamander which, like all amphibians, is under serious danger of survival due to men's environmental interference. The interception and polluting of the water, the embankment and channeling of streams and the use of them as a dumping ground, have put the life of the Fire Salamander in great danger, as its life closely depends on its environment.

In the waters of the Franscinone we can also find the Brown Trout.
Along the stream, beside the stony outcrop, at the second stop, we can observe a few. In particular we can observe boulders of Gneiss of the Ceneri. These are the so-called erratic boulders, deposited by the glacier and originated in other areas, mainly from the Ceneri. These boulders are the oldest of the Canton of Ticino and can be more than 500 million years old.

Differing from the Gneiss of the Stabbiello, which is of a reddish colour and foliated, the Gneiss of the Ceneri is grey and has a compact structure. There are also many boulders of dolostone, of a light colour, which caved in from the Denti della Vecchia. The dolostone is a sedimentary rock (cf. stop no. 23), made of magnesium carbonate and of calcium.

In the past, there were no woods in this area: a canal flowed through here, and it carried the water towards the mills lower in the valley. There were also some pools used for hemp maceration: hemp was a very common plant used in fibre cultivation, later replaced by synthetic fibres. Therefore, also in this area the structure of the wood is very young. The broadleaves we find here are the same as the ones we saw at the second stop. Whilst among the herbaceous plants, we can see: the Astrantia Major, which flowers in July, the Herb Paris, typical of the river's banks, and the Lords-and-ladies, with its particular red fruits, set like a corn-cob, which ripens late in the summer.

  1. Related Excursions

    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 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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