Swiss, Italian - Settlements

The first known settlers in Ticino were the Leponzi (Leventina), Brenni (Bienio), and Insubrii (Isole di Brissago). In the alpine valleys, the villages were situated on the steep slopes. The transhumance of the pastoralists in the alpine valleys involved residing in summer homes in the Alps (Monti, Rustici); during the winter months, people from Maggia and Verzasca descended to the lakesides of the Lago Maggiore. Today, houses are built closely together. In the Leventina and the Bienio, they are made of wood, while elsewhere they are constructed from stone. The roofs are of granite in the Sopraceneri and of bricks in the Sottoceneri. On the lakesides and in the Sottoceneri, the architecture of the houses is similar to the Lombardie style. Castles, market-places, and churches were built and maintained by the ruling families, the lords, and the church. They show the influence of Roman architecture. During the German Swiss occupation few public buildings were constructed, as the German Swiss lords did not want to invest in an occupied territory.

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