Date and Time of Visit: September 14, 2017, approximately 9:00 a.m.
There are a total of five beautiful villages in the Swiss-Italian speaking area. This time we will introduce the fourth village.
The Bernina Line of the Rhaetian Railway, a Swiss World Heritage Site, is a mountain railway connecting St. Moritz in Switzerland to Tirano in Italy. The village of Poschiavo, which I’m going to introduce here, is a stopover on the Bernina line, which means that it is one of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland and a World Heritage Site. According to the official website, the town has a long history and was already established in the 15th century.
I visited by car and stayed the day before in Pontresina, one of the neighboring towns of St. Moritz. I stayed in “Pontresina”, a town next to St. Moritz, and drove there by the same route as the Bernina line. The weather was not raining, but thick clouds covered the mountain pass and the visibility was very bad because of fog. If the weather had been fine, it would have been a great drive over the Bernina Pass at an altitude of 2,253m with a spectacular view of the Alps, but it was both fun and difficult to drive in the worst conditions with single-digit temperatures and poor visibility. The road itself was not bad. It was a route that I want to revisit next time by train and by driving.
(By the way, this is not an introduction to the beautiful villages, but we drove the same route as the Albula line on the way to Pontresina, where we stayed the night before.
Due to our early departure that day, we arrived at Poschiavo around 9am. It was not as cold as the Bernina Pass, but the temperature was below 10 degrees, so a jacket was essential. The weather was much better than the pass, but cloudy. There were a few free parking lots along the main road through the village, so we used them. It was still early in the morning and there were only a few cars parked there.
I had no particular information so I went to the square where I could see the church tower. It was a very atmospheric little square, just what I was looking for in a beautiful village. Around the square, there are some accommodation, restaurants and some souvenir shops, although they were not open when we visited.
As far as the building was concerned, the only thing to see was this square. But it’s still enough. Because this is the best scale of the beautiful village.
By the way, do tourists come in their own way, probably yes. I saw not a few tourists though certainly not many.
Because, as I have already mentioned, this is the village where the World Heritage Site “Bernina Line of the Retish Railway” stops. You can get a one-day ticket for the railway, so I guess some people get off here and go sightseeing.
Since we were there, we headed towards the train station. The station is a few hundred meters from the square, across the main road that runs through the village. So it’s not so far from the station to the center of the village. In the station, there were many information about the “Retish Railway”. There were a lot of free pamphlets, so I got some of them too. But there seems to be more information about this area in the town of St. Moritz.
Of course, Japanese guidebooks are very important, but you should not rely only on them, but also refer to local information in English and other languages.
By the way, in my case, it took me 45 minutes to go 27km by car from Pontresina (next to St. Moritz), so if you go by train from St. Moritz, you can reach Poschiavo in about 1 hour and 30 minutes If you take the train from St. Moritz, you may be able to reach Poschiavo in about 1 hour and 30 minutes. It seems that the sightseeing of the Rhaetian railway is often done as a day trip based on St. Moritz, but I think that it is no problem at all to get off at Pontresina if it takes about this long.
Most of the most beautiful villages in Europe, not only in Switzerland, cannot be visited without a car, but Poschiavo is actually one of the easiest villages to visit by train, even though it is located quite far into Switzerland on the map. If you are planning to visit the village by train, you should definitely stop by here.