Leisure activities

at Hotel Paladina

Sweet chestnuts

In autumn you can be collecting heaps of sweet chestnuts in our park and surroundings and roast above a nice fire!

Products made of sweet chestnuts include:

Flour, bread, cakes, marmalades, cereals, beer, ice-cream, as an aside to venison, or in the most popular version: roasted on fire.
Here you may order our home-made marmalade with sweet chestnuts and other products.

Experience the sweet chestnuts trail on the “Sentiero del castagno”

Hiking in Tessin, exploring the Alto Malcantone, the region of the sweet chestnut.

After the Grotto Sgambada in Arosio you reach the sweet chestnut hill of Induno, walking on to the Church of San Michele. Nearby is an old and converted “grä” (metato). The excursion leads you on to Mugena, the way up there providing a wonderful scenery and panorama on the entire Alto Malcantone, mainly on the Caroggio plain.

After having strolled through the pittoresque Mugena, you continue to Busgnone and cross the Magliasina next to a natural swimming pool. The hiking trail leads along the valle di Firinescio via Vezio to Fescoggia, the entire way full of sweet chestnuts.

Having passed Fescoggia you turn back to Caroggio, Mugena and Arosio. The trail is marked by its characteristic sign, the sweet chestnut. You will be passing several didactic posters, giving you all the details of information on this topic.
The entire trail takes you 5 to 6 hours from Arosio. It is also possible to shorten the trip and start at Fescoggia or later on the trail. Hiking shoes are recommended.

> 28 Hiking suggestions in Ticino (in german)

The sweet chestnuts have been introduced to the region by the Romans 2000 years ago.

It grew as important as to be called “bread tree”, as it provided food for six months a year.
Our region too has lived of sweet chestnuts over centuries.

The sweet chestnut´s woods are typical for the Southern Alps from 200 to 1000 m above sealevel and cover 26000 hectares. In the north of the Alps they only exist in warm valleys.

Its trees can reach a height of 25-30 metres and reach up to a 1000 years of age (the chest nuts of the volcano Aetna in Italy are called “100 horses” are around 2500 years old). Its leaves are big and dentated at its ends, its blossoms appear in Mai and June, of which the male ones produce the sweet chestnut. Pollination happens by wind or insects, above all by bees. Its bark is smooth and olive with younger trees, with aging it grows grey-brown and wrinkled.

Its roots grow deep and are important for strengthening the earth´s stability. Its wood is long-lasting, elastic, easy to work with, rich in Tannin and good burning material.

With increasing age, the sweet chestnut needs a lot of sunshine, mild climate and enough water, fearing the early and late frosts.
Its main illness is a sort of cancer attacking the bark via fungus. In 1948, when it was diagnosed, on feared the rapid extinction as is had happened with the American sweet chestnut before. Fortunately the European sort proved to be more resistant and the fungus not as aggressive. Symptoms of infestation are the bark´s turning red and the withering of the leaves.

> Guided walking weeks in Paladina (in german)