Ponte dei Salti | Jumping Bridge
Pack your bikini and a bottle of cold Ticinese rosé and head to the campanile-spiked hills above Locarno. In Switzerland’s sunny and steep-sloped Italian-speaking Canton Ticino, locals and visitors alike love a bracing dip in the cool mountain water—and there’s no better place to witness this than at the historic Ponte dei Salti (Jumping Bridge), a double-arched bridge across the Verzasca River where bronzed young Ticinese plunge into the river’s lustrous emerald depths. From the city of Locarno, the intense hike to the ancient Roman relic hugs the Verzasca River and passes through chestnut groves, vineyards, fragrant pine forests, and the iconic Contra (or Verzasca) Dam where scenes from the James Bond thriller GoldenEye were shot. If your time is limited, take the 45-minute PostBus to the bridge (included with a Swiss Travel Pass) and walk down. Or take the bus all the way to the end of the road in the Alpine village of Sonogno, where a jade-colored waterfall pool, the river’s source, awaits.
By Adam H. Graham, AFAR Contributor
Verzasca River, Switzerland