"This village, which is half-empty for three-quarters of the year, transforms itself into a sort of living museum in the touristy summer months and has preserved itself over the centuries despite the incessant remaking and restoring. One can see that its residents were skilled masons and builders (and as such were seasonal emigrants in Italy and later in other Swiss Cantons) in addition to being farmers. This is what makes Indemini fascinating." This 1960s description of Virgilio Gilardoni, one of Ticino's greatest art historians, is still valid today. Indemini is considered an extraordinary example of popular architecture.
"The intelligence of the hands of Indemini's masons - writes again Gilardoni - is apparent in the rounded corners of the homes, in the alleys' cobblestones, in the art of the roof connectors, in the beauty of the walls which gently bend into a smoothened angle marking the alleys by creating volume and perspectives of a unique beauty."
When you visit the heart of the town, you will be struck by how narrow the alleys are, intersecting each other to form a maze where you can easily get lost despite the village's size. The centre is so compact that it induced Gilardoni to define it as a "village-fort". The dwelling is sunlit and oriented to the South while the crown of the mountains and the Neggia Pass protect it from the often violent Northern gusts of wind.
Indemini is an isolated village, distant and remote. You might even ask yourself what motivated the first settlers to establish themselves in such an arduous place, restricted in the South by cliffs marking the Italian border and blocked-off in the North by a mountain chain. Before the road was built in 1920, the sole access to Gambarogno was through the mountain chain. The connection with the Veddasca Valley (Italy) dates back to 1966. It's probably thanks to its secluded position from both North and South that the spectacular Ticino village was spared from the devastation and defacement of the 1960s construction industry. Today, when visiting it, it feels like time has simply stopped.