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Coat of arms of Minusio
Coat of arms
Minusio is located in Switzerland
Coordinates: 46°11′N 8°49′E / 46.183°N 8.817°E / 46.183; 8.817Coordinates: 46°11′N 8°49′E / 46.183°N 8.817°E / 46.183; 8.817
Country Switzerland
Canton Ticino
District Locarno
 • Mayor Sindaco
 • Total 5.85 km2 (2.26 sq mi)
Elevation 246 m (807 ft)
Population (Dec 2015[2])
 • Total 7,244
 • Density 1,200/km2 (3,200/sq mi)
Postal code 6648
SFOS number 5118
Surrounded by Avegno, Brione sopra Minusio, Locarno, Magadino, Muralto, Orselina, Piazzogna, Tenero-Contra, Vira (Gambarogno)
Website www.minusio.ch
SFSO statistics

Minusio is a municipality in the district of Locarno in the canton of Ticino in Switzerland.


In the Ceresole section, a significant Iron Age necropolis (c. 6th-5th century BC) was discovered. It held about 20 graves and rich grave goods. Nearby, several Roman graveyards from the 1st and 2nd Centuries AD, were discovered. The Roman graveyards are among the most important in Ticino because of the complexity of the system and the amount of material. A discovery in 1936 found about 30 graves. In the Roman era, Minusio was a minor settlement outside of Muralto, which was the center of the Roman presence in the Locarno area.[3]

Minusio is first mentioned in 1061 as Menuxio, though this comes from a copy of the original from 1402. In 1200 it was mentioned as Menuxio. It used to be known by its German name, Maniss, though this is no longer used.[3] During the Middle Ages, it was a village, which, together with Brione sopra Minusio and Mergoscia formed a Vicinanza. By the time that the village laws were written down in 1313, Minusio had separated from Mergoscia. Brione dissolved as an independent village gradually until 1479 when it ceased to exist independently. Traces of the old vicinanza remained until 1952 in the so-called Comunella dei tre comuni which held common property and court rights. Minusio owned fishing and grazing rights in the Magadino valley, and shared ownership of the Terricciole region with Mergoscia and Locarno until 1920. The town mayor was picked by the four squadre (town sections) of Rivapiana, Cadogno, Frizzi and Mezzo, each in turn. Between 1803-39, Minusio was the capital of the district of Navegna. In 1839, it supported the anti-Confederation side in the constitutional struggles. When they lost the conflict, it lost not only its role as district capital to Tenero, but was also occupied by the military.[3]

The town church was led by a chaplain under the archpriest of S. Vittore in Locarno. The village of Mondacce became part of the parish of Gordola in 1698 and then in 1921, the parish of Tenero. Minusio became an independent parish in 1798, and in 1949 was granted a provost. The parish church of San Rocco was first built at the end of the 15th century, but was completely rebuilt in 1795-1801. The oldest religious building in the municipality is the Church of San Quirico in Rivapiana which was first mentioned in 1313. In the late 18th century an extension was added to the church. It contains remains of frescoes from the 13th-14th and the 15th-16th Centuries as well as a fragment of a Gallo-Roman votive altar. The church bell tower originally functioned as a guard tower. The church of S. Maria delle Grazie was erected at the beginning of the 17th century. The Holy Cross Chapel was built in the 18th century. The chapel of Santa Maria dei Sette Dolori (1630) is attached to the Casa di Ferro, a military base, which had built by Peter Ammann a Pro in 1558.

In the 18th and 19th Centuries several notable villas were built, though some of them have been demolished or have collapsed. However, several Art Nouveau villas from the 20th century are still occupied. The Villa La Baronata in Mappo dates from the 17th century and in the 19th century housed several famous refugees. The Elisarion villa was built in 1925-29 as a residence and temple. It was taken over in 1981 by the municipality and set up a cultural center.[3]

La Baronata[edit]

La Baronata

It was here that Giovanni Antonio Marcacci (1769–1854) built La Baronata as a summer house. The building was bought by Mikhail Bakunin in 1873 with money he obtained from Carlo Cafiero. They planned that possession of the building would give Bakunin the status of a land-owner, helping him gain Swiss citizenship, and to provide premises for storing arms and providing accommodation in aid of the anarchist international. A second building was erected, a lake dug and a number of fruit trees planted. With the addition of a cow, a carriage and two horses, a milkmaid and a groom were employed. When Bakunin's wife, Antonia Kwiatkowska, was on her way there in July 1874, her lover, Carlo Gambuzzi informed her that the house had been bought through the abuse of Cafiero's generosity. On her arrival, Bakunin originally denied this and at first persuaded Cafiero to agree. However, on reflection, Cafiero told Bakunin on 15 July that he had indeed abused their friendship and that he would not spend any more money, thought or energy on La Baronata, rather devoting the fraction left of his inheritance on buying weapons for the proposed revolution in Italy. "The days following the 15th were a veritable hell" Bakunin later wrote. On 25 July Bakunin signed over the deeds of the building to Cafiero and resolved to die on the barricades in Bologna.

Following a career as a revolutionary anarchist, Cafiero suffered a mental breakdown whilst in prison in Italy in 1882. He returned briefly to La Baronata, but went back to Italy once again in 1883.


Lake Maggiore, with Minusio along the lake in the center, foreground

Minusio has an area, as of 1997, of 5.85 square kilometers (2.26 sq mi). Of this area, 1.69 km2 (0.65 sq mi) or 28.9% is used for agricultural purposes, while 3.11 km2 (1.20 sq mi) or 53.2% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 1.9 km2 (0.73 sq mi) or 32.5% is settled (buildings or roads), 0.02 km2 (4.9 acres) or 0.3% is either rivers or lakes and 0.19 km2 (0.073 sq mi) or 3.2% is unproductive land.

Of the built up area, housing and buildings made up 23.2% and transportation infrastructure made up 5.3%. while parks, green belts and sports fields made up 2.7%. Out of the forested land, 47.4% of the total land area is heavily forested and 5.0% is covered with orchards or small clusters of trees. Of the agricultural land, 2.6% is used for growing crops, while 3.1% is used for orchards or vine crops and 23.2% is used for alpine pastures. All the water in the municipality is flowing water. Of the unproductive areas, 3.1% is unproductive vegetation and .[4]

The municipality is located in the Locarno district, about 2 km (1.2 mi) east of Locarno on Lake Maggiore. It consists of the village of Minusio with the sections of Ceresole, Mappo and Mondacce.


Minusio has a population (as of December 2015) of 7,244.[5] As of 2008, 20.8% of the population are resident foreign nationals.[6] Over the last 10 years (1997–2007) the population has changed at a rate of 6%.

Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks Italian (73.2%), with German being second most common (17.8%) and French being third (2.1%).[7] Of the Swiss national languages (as of 2000), 1,143 speak German, 134 people speak French, 4,706 people speak Italian, and 6 people speak Romansh. The remainder (439 people) speak another language.[8]

As of 2008, the gender distribution of the population was 45.9% male and 54.1% female. The population was made up of 2,442 Swiss men (35.1% of the population), and 758 (10.9%) non-Swiss men. There were 3,066 Swiss women (44.0%), and 700 (10.0%) non-Swiss women.[9]

In 2008 there were 44 live births to Swiss citizens and 6 births to non-Swiss citizens, and in same time span there were 47 deaths of Swiss citizens and 6 non-Swiss citizen deaths. Ignoring immigration and emigration, the population of Swiss citizens decreased by 3 while the foreign population remained the same. There was 1 Swiss man and 4 Swiss women who immigrated back to Switzerland. At the same time, there were 20 non-Swiss men and 27 non-Swiss women who immigrated from another country to Switzerland. The total Swiss population change in 2008 (from all sources, including moves across municipal borders) was an increase of 93 and the non-Swiss population change was a decrease of 32 people. This represents a population growth rate of 0.9%.[6]

The age distribution, as of 2009, in Minusio is; 513 children or 7.4% of the population are between 0 and 9 years old and 633 teenagers or 9.1% are between 10 and 19. Of the adult population, 577 people or 8.3% of the population are between 20 and 29 years old. 903 people or 13.0% are between 30 and 39, 1,097 people or 15.7% are between 40 and 49, and 963 people or 13.8% are between 50 and 59. The senior population distribution is 989 people or 14.2% of the population are between 60 and 69 years old, 750 people or 10.8% are between 70 and 79, there are 541 people or 7.8% who are over 80.[9]

As of 2000, there were 3,080 private households in the municipality, and an average of 2. persons per household.[7] In 2000 there were 915 single family homes (or 56.1% of the total) out of a total of 1,631 inhabited buildings. There were 267 two family buildings (16.4%) and 337 multi-family buildings (20.7%). There were also 112 buildings in the municipality that were multipurpose buildings (used for both housing and commercial or another purpose).[10]

The vacancy rate for the municipality, in 2008, was 0.97%. In 2000 there were 4,479 apartments in the municipality. The most common apartment size was the 3 room apartment of which there were 1,431. There were 358 single room apartments and 676 apartments with five or more rooms.[11] Of these apartments, a total of 3,071 apartments (68.6% of the total) were permanently occupied, while 1,134 apartments (25.3%) were seasonally occupied and 274 apartments (6.1%) were empty.[11] As of 2007, the construction rate of new housing units was 6.6 new units per 1000 residents.[7]

The historical population is given in the following table:[3]

year population
1597 410
1683 400
1795 593
1850 894
1900 1,162
1950 2,771
1960 3,663
1990 5,968
2000 6,428

Heritage sites of national significance[edit]

The Ca’ Di Ferro and Oratorio Della Vergine Dei Sette Dolori A Rivaplana is listed as a Swiss heritage site of national significance.[12] The Ca’ Di Ferro was an armory that was built in 1560 by Peter A. Pro from Uri as a training ground for soldiers.[13]


In the 2007 federal election the most popular party was the FDP which received 30.83% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were the CVP (24.32%), the SP (17.37%) and the SVP (10.25%). In the federal election, a total of 2,036 votes were cast, and the voter turnout was 44.9%.[14]

In the 2007 Gran Consiglio election, there were a total of 4,574 registered voters in Minusio, of which 2,627 or 57.4% voted. 46 blank ballots and 8 null ballots were cast, leaving 2,573 valid ballots in the election. The most popular party was the PLRT which received 577 or 22.4% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were; the PPD+GenGiova (with 543 or 21.1%), the SSI (with 458 or 17.8%) and the PS (with 396 or 15.4%).[15]

In the 2007 Consiglio di Stato election, 30 blank ballots and 9 null ballots were cast, leaving 2,590 valid ballots in the election. The most popular party was the PPD which received 553 or 21.4% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were; the PLRT (with 536 or 20.7%), the PS (with 504 or 19.5%) and the LEGA (with 453 or 17.5%).[15]


As of 2007, Minusio had an unemployment rate of 4.11%. As of 2005, there were 10 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 5 businesses involved in this sector. 305 people were employed in the secondary sector and there were 40 businesses in this sector. 1,140 people were employed in the tertiary sector, with 189 businesses in this sector.[7] There were 2,851 residents of the municipality who were employed in some capacity, of which females made up 44.0% of the workforce.

In 2000, there were 1,035 workers who commuted into the municipality and 2,055 workers who commuted away. The municipality is a net exporter of workers, with about 2.0 workers leaving the municipality for every one entering. About 13.1% of the workforce coming into Minusio are coming from outside Switzerland, while 0.1% of the locals commute out of Switzerland for work.[16] Of the working population, 11.6% used public transportation to get to work, and 57.7% used a private car.[7]

As of 2009, there were 6 hotels in Minusio with a total of 170 rooms and 299 beds.[17]


From the 2000 census, 4,343 or 67.6% were Roman Catholic, while 817 or 12.7% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church. There are 900 individuals (or about 14.00% of the population) who belong to another church (not listed on the census), and 368 individuals (or about 5.72% of the population) did not answer the question.[8]


In Minusio about 68.6% of the population (between age 25-64) have completed either non-mandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule).[7] In Minusio there were a total of 933 students (as of 2009). The Ticino education system provides up to three years of non-mandatory kindergarten and in Minusio there were 135 children in kindergarten. The primary school program lasts for five years and includes both a standard school and a special school. In the village, 267 students attended the standard primary schools and 8 students attended the special school. In the lower secondary school system, students either attend a two-year middle school followed by a two-year pre-apprenticeship or they attend a four-year program to prepare for higher education. There were 258 students in the two-year middle school and 4 in their pre-apprenticeship, while 109 students were in the four-year advanced program.

The upper secondary school includes several options, but at the end of the upper secondary program, a student will be prepared to enter a trade or to continue on to a university or college. In Ticino, vocational students may either attend school while working on their internship or apprenticeship (which takes three or four years) or may attend school followed by an internship or apprenticeship (which takes one year as a full-time student or one and a half to two years as a part-time student).[18] There were 33 vocational students who were attending school full-time and 104 who attend part-time.

The professional program lasts three years and prepares a student for a job in engineering, nursing, computer science, business, tourism and similar fields. There were 15 students in the professional program.[19]

As of 2000, there were 191 students in Minusio who came from another municipality, while 260 residents attended schools outside the municipality.[16]


  1. ^ Arealstatistik Standard - Gemeindedaten nach 4 Hauptbereichen
  2. ^ Swiss Federal Statistical Office - STAT-TAB, online database – Ständige und nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach institutionellen Gliederungen, Geburtsort und Staatsangehörigkeit (German) accessed 30 August 2016
  3. ^ a b c d e Minusio in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  4. ^ Altitudine, superficie, secondo il genere di utilizzazione, rilevazione 1992/1997, e densità della popolazione, nel 2000 (Italian) accessed 25 October 2010
  5. ^ Swiss Federal Statistical Office - STAT-TAB, online database – Ständige und nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach institutionellen Gliederungen, Geburtsort und Staatsangehörigkeit (German) accessed 30 August 2016
  6. ^ a b Swiss Federal Statistical Office - Superweb database - Gemeinde Statistics 1981-2008 (German) accessed 19 June 2010
  7. ^ a b c d e f Swiss Federal Statistical Office accessed 7 December 2010
  8. ^ a b Popolazione residente, secondo la lingua principale e la religione, nel 2000 (Italian) accessed 23 November 2010
  9. ^ a b 01.02.03 Popolazione residente permanente (Italian) accessed 23 November 2010
  10. ^ 09.02.01 Edifici (Italian) accessed 23 November 2010
  11. ^ a b 09.02.02 Abitazioni (Italian) accessed 23 November 2010
  12. ^ "Kantonsliste A-Objekte:Ticino" (PDF). KGS Inventar (in German). Federal Office of Civil Protection. 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
  13. ^ Flüeler (1982). Kulturführer Schweiz. Zurich, CH: Ex Libris Verlag AG. p. 240. 
  14. ^ Swiss Federal Statistical Office, Nationalratswahlen 2007: Stärke der Parteien und Wahlbeteiligung, nach Gemeinden/Bezirk/Canton (German) accessed 28 May 2010
  15. ^ a b Elezioni cantonali: Gran Consiglio, Consiglio di Stato (Italian) accessed 23 November 2010
  16. ^ a b Swiss Federal Statistical Office - Statweb (German) accessed 24 June 2010
  17. ^ Settori alberghiero e paralberghiero (Italian) accessed 23 November 2010
  19. ^ Allievi e studenti, secondo il genere di scuola, anno scolastico 2009/2010 (Italian) accessed 23 November 2010

External links[edit]