Travel + Leisure (USA)

VAL BAVONA

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In the 1950s, the residents of this valley in the Swiss Alps turned down the opportunit­y to connect to the country’s electrical grid. The reason they gave was straightfo­rward: electricit­y was a luxury they could live without. The result is a stunning glacial landscape that looks much like it did centuries ago.

Though living there can be challengin­g—the winters are harsh, so residents pass December through March in warmer climes—the community is driven to maintain a simpler, and greener, way of life. Today they rely on solar panels, water turbines, and natural gas to provide some of their energy, but on most nights, the valley is lit by candles. Visitors can experience it on a six-mile walk through all 12 of the region’s villages, passing pastures dotted with cows, stone houses, and churches that date back to the 16th century. At the head of the valley, a return to modern technology awaits: San Carlo’s cable car links Bavona to the lakeside town of Robiei (and the national grid). — Heidi Mitchell

 ?? ?? Pontido village, in Val Bavona, Switzerlan­d, which uses only green energy sources.
Pontido village, in Val Bavona, Switzerlan­d, which uses only green energy sources.

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