Tourism may just be the only way to bring life to this tiny municipality of Corippo in Switzerland that has 12 inhabitants remaining. By Deepali Sharma
If you travel deep enough in the Verzasca valley of Ticino, Switzerland, you will reach the peaceful municipality of Corippo, the smallest mountain village in the country. Situated to the south of the Alps, Corippo is also one of the most remote places to visit, even by European standards.
The village is now under the spotlight for its disturbing demographics and the problem of depopulation that has happened since the 50s. With a current population of just 12 people with an average age of 75 years, the village is on the verge of extinction. Its humble architecture with grey slate roof top houses will soon be lost, with no way of tracing back to this heavenly place.
The village has no shops, no schools, and no children, and the mayor, Claudio Scettrini, is the only person in the crowd of retired residents, who still works. The process of urbanisation has led to the younger populace leaving for the nearby cities and towns, abandoning this once flourishing village.
To save the village from its inevitable death, a foundation named ‘Corippo 75’ has devoted itself to the revival of Corippo. In July, the government gave permission to the publicly financed local foundation to use the 30 deserted houses and turn them into a hotel. The concept of ‘albergo diffuso’ or scattered hotels, will be used to turn the dying village into a tourist spot.
The hospitality of the locals is something truly worth experiencing here. Since what remains of Corippo is a small locality, everybody knows one another, and helps each other out in times of need. The same warmth is passed on to those who decide to travel here.
Tourism can reap great benefits for what used to be a village of 300 residents in the 19th century. A visit to Corippo will reconnect you with nature and the life that the previous generations led. The heavenly mountains with crystal waterfalls and exquisitely simple architecture makes it a must-visit place for your much needed ‘digital detox’.
Increased tourism in Corippo will not only bring back life into the small village, but will also connect you to a world that is completely free of obsession. What else can one ask for, right?