The Swiss Alps, Europe's true water tower, dominate the hydrographic network of Central Europe. Many rivers have their source there, including of course the Rhine, the Rhone but also the Aare, the Ticino or the Inn. Most of them cross one or more lakes in the territory, which regulate their courses and settle their waters, ridding them of many impurities torn from the mountains. The Alps, the Plateau, a vast hilly plain and, to the northwest, the largely wooded Jura, divide the Swiss territory and offer a multitude of landscapes. Climatic factors, influenced by the relief but also by man who has gradually shaped the landscape over generations and the various modes of exploitation, have favoured marked identities between the Mediterranean basin and Central Europe. Two regions stand out for their particular biological diversity: the Rhone Valley in the heart of the Alps, whose arid and warm climate has created environments rich in biodiversity, and Ticino, south of the Alps, which hosts a procession of species typical of regions influenced by the sub-Mediterranean (insubrian) climate.
A cuisine under the influence :
Switzerland is located at a real gastronomic crossroads. Border with France, Italy, Germany and Austria, it benefits from the best culinary traditions to enrich its cuisine. In Ticino, as in the rest of the country, you can enjoy real Italian cuisine, flavoured and delicate; everywhere you can sit down and enjoy a robust mountain dish such as rösti or cheese fondue; influenced by Austrian cuisine, the famous schnitzel (Viennese escalope) is served in German-speaking Switzerland. Finally, it should be noted that this country attracts many starred chefs, often French.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette