Gandria is nestled into the crook between steep Mt. Brè and Lake Lugano. The glacier that formed this part of the lake dug so deep that the lake waters were at one time below sea level.
We wandered the crooked, narrow paths and wondered what it would be like to live here, in such a remote village.
Gandria was once known for its olive oil production, but the harsh winter of 1709 killed most of the trees. Since then, olive trees have been planted and there are placards depicting the olive industry’s history scattered about.
Gandria sits at the base of Mt. Brè, which means “mountain” in Celtic. The Celts were the first known inhabitants, back in 800 B.C.
One church tower rises among the staggered houses: Chiesa di San Vigilio, which was built in the 15th century.
Local families are memorialized on the exterior wall.