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6,000 Years of History in 3D


On the hill of Tremona, in the district of Mendrisio, you can discover what life was like in an ancient medieval village. Whilst walking through the ruins of the archaeological site wearing 3D glasses, you will see the surroundings as they once were. The Tremona-Castello settlement was abandoned in the 14th century and later engulfed by the woods. Everything remained intact for centuries. It was then discovered in 1988 by Ticino archaeologist Alfio Martinelli, who began the excavations a few years later. The site embodies 6,000 years of Ticino’s history. Information panels are dotted along the trail. The panorama from its summit is stunning and, on clear days, you can see the skyline of Milan’s skyscrapers.


A Six Thousand-Year Journey into the Past

Without diminishing the importance of its beauty, the site was chosen as a residential area mainly due to its strategic position, which allowed its inhabitants to control the communication routes from Como and Varese to Riva San Vitale, Monte Ceneri and the central Alps. The area was inhabited from the dark ages until the 14th century when it was suddenly abandoned for reasons that are still unknown. It is believed that this might have been due to an unexpected military attack.

Numerous excavations have brought to light a labyrinthine and well-fortified settlement that offered its inhabitants refuge from Barbarian invasions and the skirmishes between Como and Milan.

It is believed that the settlement was inhabited by artisans and farmers who travelled widely and traded their goods. They made widespread use of money and owned beautifully handcrafted ornamental items. In short, it was much more than just a rural village. Today, excavation after excavation, Tremona-Castello reveals its storied past, enriched by a number of interesting and vivid details that have allowed archaeologists to have a clearer understanding of the conditions and lifestyles of its inhabitants in the Middle Ages, the era of its greatest splendour.

The archaeological site can only be accessed on foot and involves a 10-minute walk along the trail that starts in Tremona (via al Castello).


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