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Airolo

Airolo Introduction

It’s called Airoo in the local dialect, but it’s called Airolo to everyone else. It’s in the district of Leventina, and it’s a municipality in the Ticino Canton in Switzerland. Airolo has a population of roughly 1,600. 

The municipality of Airolo is small as far as population goes, but that adds to its unique charm and beauty. There is a lot of land that is covered in forest there that you can explore.

Geography 

Airolo is situated in the valley of Leventina and Lepontine Alps, on the southern part of the Pass of St. Gotthard. Both the Gotthard road and the Gotthard rail tunnel have their southern entrance in Airolo. It is the biggest municipality in the Ticino Canton, it is composed of the hamlets of Fontana, Nante, Brugnasco, Madrano, and Valle, as well as the village of Airolo. The municipalities of Quinto and Airolo are thinking about a merger at some point in the future so that they can become a new municipality called Airolo-Quinto. 

The municipality has an area of roughly 36.5 square miles. Out of this area, about 1.4 square miles is put to use for agricultural purposes, and about 22% is covered in the forest. Of the remainder of the land, about one square mile (or roughly 3%) is settled (roads or buildings), about one square mile is either lakes or rives, and about 15 square miles is unproductive land. 

Of the area that is settled, buildings and house comprise about .6% and another 2% (roughly) is made up of infrastructure for transportation. Out of the land that is covered in forest, 15% of the land area is covered in heavy forest and 1.5% is covered with little clusters of trees or orchards. Out of the land used for agricultural purposes, about 3% is used for crops.

Swiss Heritage Sites of National Significance 

There are numerous sites to see in Airolo that are designated as Swiss National Heritage Sites of National Significance. There is the Hospice Complex on the Pass of St. Gotthard, there is the Forte Foppa and Forte Airolo, a prehistoric settlement, and there is a necropolis from the time of the Romans. The whole town of Airolo, as well as the village of Fontana, are listed as sites as well.

Economy 

Airolo has an unemployment rate of about 2.5%, which is not bad for Switzerland.

Skiing

Airolo is the site of a little ski resort with about 20 miles of prepared slopes.

Airolo Photo Gallery

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