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Rifugio Nel Bosco

Our Philosophy

Rifugio Nel Bosco is born from a genuine passion about the Malcantone, the local people, their culture and especially the beautiful natural landscape. It lead to the project of rebuilding the 3 original chalets from 1965 totally hidden in the forest, located at the far edge of Malcantone, situated on the slope of a hill at the foot of Mount Lema. I'm proud that the project is now in its full swing. The first Chalet, being also the smallest, is ready since 2019 for your enjoyment and accommodation. The second Chalet also shows a loft type of architecture but bigger with two separate bedrooms and a spacey living room to accommodate six people. It's online since the beginning of 2021. Finally the third and biggest of the three is ready since spring 2022. 

I believe passion is not just some emotional energy, but the friction between the soul and the outside world. My passion for nature comes in the means of the kind of beauty it represents. It is not only a portrayal of some undefined universal truth about what is infinite and eternal in us but connects us to a part of our own nature that elevates us from within, allowing ourselves to be changed in accordance with the ideals it expresses. I believe nature has the capacity, through shock and catharsis, to make us receptive to good, to stimulate reflection on what is essential, and which too often is bypassed in the busyness of everyday life in our society. 

Refugio Nel Bosco invites you to immerse yourself in nature, to connect yourself to what is real, so as to have a genuine experience not only through what you see outside of you but of what you experience within you.

About the Area

Chesnut Forest Malcantone
Trails: Mt. Tamaro to Mt. Lema
Malcantone Panoramic View
Monte Rosa view from Ticino
Locarno Funi Madona del Sasso
Lugano Panoramic
Islands at lago Maggiore
Trail close to Rifugio Nel Bosco
M. Botta Church of St. John. Mogno
View of Alto Malcantone

The Legendary


It isn’t a valley, or a mountain or a plane. The Malcantone is rather a little bit of everything. Its name is shrouded in legends. One of them says that its name (Malcantone) means "bad canton" because this remote area always provided shelter for predators, deserters and smugglers.

Today Malcantone has transformed into the "Belcantone". Some say it resembles somewhat the rolling hills of Tuscany and shines to the world from its most beautiful side. It is known for its theme trails, which leads visitors past dry stone walls, old mines, grain mills or forges. And of course one mustn’t forget the chestnut trees. Some of them are more than 1000 years old. In brief: Malcatone is an insider tip for anyone seeking typical local natural and cultural experiences. And the best of it is that this region, located in the middle of the sunny corner of Switzerland, can be quickly reached from the German-speaking part of Switzerland by car or the newly upgraded fast train connection Zürich and Lugano.

Top fact: In 2003, Switzerland Tourism awarded Malcatone the title of "Switzerland Pure". This award is not just a concept but a promise: green tourism everyone can benefit from: the holiday guests, locals and nature.

Typical Malcantone Village

Our Heritage


RIFUGIO NEL BOSCO is actually located in the territory of Sessa but its access is really only possible via Astano. The forrest is at the far edge of Malcantone, close to the Italian border. Both Sessa and Astano entire villages are designated as part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites:

(The Federal Inventory of Heritage Sites (ISOS) is part of a 1981 Ordinance of the Swiss Federal Council implementing the Federal Law on the Protection of Nature and Cultural Heritage.)

SESSA, once the most important municipality of Malcantone, is today a village of 650 inhabitants on the slope of a hill at the foot of Mount Lema, which gently rolls down to the Ticino river.

This ancient village, whose origin dates back to medieval times, when the barbarians were descending to the plains of the Pò Valley, has seen Milanese, Swiss and people from Como, fighting for centuries over this minute but strategic territory.
Today, on account of the vestiges of the past, it offers a view into history that is of great interest but scarcely known to the larger public. The visitor may indulge in exploring traces of the past, visiting the Law Court building, the winepress (1407), the Medieval Church of Santa Maria, the Renaissance church of Sant'Orsola and also the Provostal Church, where it is possible to admire the main altar, a wooden masterpiece, representative of the Lombard Baroque art, which has been recently restored and brought back to its ancient splendour. The “Small Museum” in the tiny locality of Bonzaglio is also well worth a visit: here the objects pertaining to peasant culture are on display. The Gold Mine Museum in Sessa has now an outdoor section. This abandoned Gold Mine from the 1930s has recently been made accessible to the tourist to explore. It is the latest pride for the people of Sessa. A lot of voluntary work has gone into this project. Food, shops, a post office, a bank, restaurants make the visitors stay a thoroughly pleasant and lively one.

Minery Map of Astano and Sessa
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