The Historical Route

1750 - 1800

While the Gotthard Pass does not feature in Roman itineraries and only began to play an increasingly important role in connecting the northern cantons with the Ticino/Lombardy area in the Late Middle Ages, the Ceneri Pass has always played a strategic role in links between Bellinzona and Milan.

Anche gli eserciti napoleonici utilizzarono i valichi alpini per le loro campagne di conquista

True pilgrims are those who depart simply to set out

Primo Mazzolari  

The Ceneri Pass was considered dangerous for many centuries and this reputation persisted until at least the mid-nineteenth century, with the final attack on the stagecoach being carried out in 1864. Those travelling through it risked being attacked or abducted. Historical sources tell us that bandit attacks were recorded in the area as early as the fourteenth century and there were various protests, such as the one staged by the merchants of Lucerne.