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There’s a saying which apparently seems a commonplace: “the lake must be seen from the lake” but watching it from a natural balcony like the one in Pigra, at 850 metres above sea levels is not bad at all; it makes you feel like turning into a powerful hawk and dive headfirst into the cold water of the lake to claw a big fish to take back to the top as a trophy.
You can reach Pigra (or “Pigri” as an old lady called the village every time she saw it from below…) on foot up a steep but impressive muletrack. You can reach Pigra by car, coach or by cable car (working since 1971) which leaving from Argegno and passing a overcoming height difference of 648 metres arrives at the enchanting village in only four minutes. The average gradient of the slope is 71% but at some points it reaches even 94% thus becoming the plant with the greatest gradient of slope in Europe.
It offers a breathtaking view to the passengers. If Erbonne (the highest hamlet of San Fedele d’Intelvi) is the Valley most extreme inhabited area in the direction of Switzerland, Pigra is the farthest inhabited area in the direction of the villages. Two settlements, two small areas which seem to be out of this world, but which the world knows about, thanks to the emigrants from the Valley and their tales about their homeland.
The etymology of the toponym is odd and interesting too, it could derive from “pipolus” (poplar) or from the word “pigra” (lazy) which indicates a place where fruit ripens late because of the altitude. It could also be “pigra” meaning a hard climb or even from the medieval Latin “vigra” (uncultivated land).
YOUR TESTIMONY »
A me hanno sempre raccontato che il nome Pigra deriva dal soprannome pigri, nato perchè gli abitanti che vendevano il latte ad Argegno a causa della strada difficoltosa arrivavano sempre in ritardo!
A me hanno sempre raccontato che il nome Pigra deriva dal soprannome \