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Picswiss TI-14-08.jpg
Coat of arms of Sonogno
Coat of arms
Location of Sonogno
Sonogno is located in Switzerland
Sonogno is located in Canton of Ticino
Coordinates: 46°21′N 8°47′E / 46.350°N 8.783°E / 46.350; 8.783Coordinates: 46°21′N 8°47′E / 46.350°N 8.783°E / 46.350; 8.783
 • MayorSindaco
 • Total37.6 km2 (14.5 sq mi)
919 m (3,015 ft)
 • Total86
 • Density2.3/km2 (5.9/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (Central European Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (Central European Summer Time)
Postal code(s)
SFOS number5129
Surrounded byBrione (Verzasca), Chironico, Frasco, Gerra (Verzasca), Lavizzara
SFSO statistics

Sonogno is a former municipality in the district of Locarno in the canton of Ticino in Switzerland. It is located in Valle Verzasca. On 17 October 2020 the former municipalities of Vogorno, Sonogno, Corippo, Brione (Verzasca) and Frasco merged to form the new municipality of Verzasca.[3]


Vista aerea del paese
Museum of Verzasca in Sonogno

Sonogno is first mentioned in 1200 as Sornono. In 1417 it was mentioned as Senognio.[4] During the Middle Ages, Sonogno was part of the Vicinanza of Verzasca and shared the fate of the valley. From 1395 to 1843, it formed a single community with Frasco.[4]

It was part of the parish of Vogorno until 1519, when it formed a parish with Frasco. It formed an independent parish in 1734. The parish church of St. Maria Loreto, is first documented in 1519. It was rebuilt in 1854 and decorated with paintings by Cherubino Patà.

The local economy was based mostly on grazing. During the summer, the cattle grazed in the high alpine pastures, in the winter the cows were moved to their winter pastures in the Magadino. Due to limited jobs, many of the residents emigrated and after about 1850, many went overseas.[4] Decedents of residents of Sonogno can be found in nearly 40 different countries.[5] The more recent exodus to urban centers, combined with emigration have caused a steady decline of population since the mid-nineteenth century. The Museum of Verzasca was built in Sonogno in 1974. In 2005 the agricultural sector still offered 47% of jobs in the municipality.[4]


Sonogno in the Val Redòrta

Sonogno had an area, as of 1997, of 37.52 square kilometers (14.49 sq mi). Of this area, 0.42 km2 (0.16 sq mi) or 1.1% is used for agricultural purposes, while 10.29 km2 (3.97 sq mi) or 27.4% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 0.13 km2 (32 acres) or 0.3% is settled (buildings or roads), 0.74 km2 (0.29 sq mi) or 2.0% is either rivers or lakes and 19.7 km2 (7.6 sq mi) or 52.5% is unproductive land.

Of the built up area, housing and buildings made up 0.3% and transportation infrastructure made up 0.0%. Out of the forested land, 11.7% of the total land area is heavily forested, while 12.2% is covered in small trees and shrubbery and 3.5% is covered with orchards or small clusters of trees. Of the agricultural land, 0.8% is used for growing crops. Of the water in the municipality, 0.2% is in lakes and 1.8% is in rivers and streams. Of the unproductive areas, 24.6% is unproductive vegetation and 27.9% is too rocky for vegetation.[6]

The municipality is located in the Locarno district, Sonogno is the last village on the paved road through the Valley Verzasca. All motor vehicles are required to park at the entrance to the village. It is located at an elevation of 918 m (3,012 ft) about 30 km (19 mi) from Locarno.

Coat of arms[edit]

The blazon of the municipal coat of arms is Argent a chamois sable statant and in base three mullets azure, two and one.[7]


Traditional stone house in Sonogno

Sonogno had a population (as of 2019) of 82. As of 2008, 4.7% of the population are resident foreign nationals.[8] Over the last 10 years (1997–2007) the population has changed at a rate of -15%.

The village has its own language which is a mixture of Latin and Celtic. The language of Sonogno is a dying language. Roughly 100 persons are known to speak it.[citation needed] Villagers also speak Italian which is an official Swiss language.

Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks Italian (93.0%), with German being second most common (2.3%) and French being third (2.3%).[9] Of the Swiss national languages (as of 2000), 2 speak German, 2 people speak French, 80 people speak Italian. The remainder (2 people) speak another language.[10]

As of 2008, the gender distribution of the population was 49.4% male and 50.6% female. The population was made up of 43 Swiss men (48.3% of the population), and 1 (1.1%) non-Swiss men. There were 41 Swiss women (46.1%), and 4 (4.5%) non-Swiss women.[11]

In 2008 there was 1 live birth to Swiss citizens and 1 birth to non-Swiss citizens, and in same time span there were 2 deaths of Swiss citizens. Ignoring immigration and emigration, the population of Swiss citizens decreased by 1 while the foreign population increased by 1. The total Swiss population change in 2008 (from all sources, including moves across municipal borders) was a decrease of 2 and the non-Swiss population change was an increase of 2 people. This represents a population growth rate of 0.0%.[8]

The age distribution, as of 2009, in Sonogno is; 7 children or 7.9% of the population are between 0 and 9 years old and 5 teenagers or 5.6% are between 10 and 19. Of the adult population, 3 people or 3.4% of the population are between 20 and 29 years old. 11 people or 12.4% are between 30 and 39, 19 people or 21.3% are between 40 and 49, and 13 people or 14.6% are between 50 and 59. The senior population distribution is 16 people or 18.0% of the population are between 60 and 69 years old, 10 people or 11.2% are between 70 and 79, there are 5 people or 5.6% who are over 80.[11]

As of 2000, there were 38 private households in the municipality, and an average of 2.2 persons per household.[9] In 2000 there were 127 single family homes (or 86.4% of the total) out of a total of 147 inhabited buildings. There were 10 two family buildings (6.8%) and 3 multi-family buildings (2.0%). There were also 7 buildings in the municipality that were multipurpose buildings (used for both housing and commercial or another purpose).[12] The vacancy rate for the municipality, in 2008, was 0%. In 2000 there were 159 apartments in the municipality. The most common apartment size was the 3 room apartment of which there were 53. There were 18 single room apartments and 25 apartments with five or more rooms.[13] Of these apartments, a total of 38 apartments (23.9% of the total) were permanently occupied, while 120 apartments (75.5%) were seasonally occupied and 1 apartments (0.6%) were empty.[13] As of 2007, the construction rate of new housing units was 0 new units per 1000 residents.[9]

The historical population is given in the following table:[4]

year population
1596 c. 40 hearths
1734 c. 70
1850 334
1900 293
1950 151
2000 86


Village of Sonogno

The entire village of Sonogno is designated as part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites[14]


In the 2007 federal election the most popular party was the CVP which received 28.16% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were the SP (26.21%), the FDP (16.99%) and the Ticino League (11.65%). In the federal election, a total of 26 votes were cast, and the voter turnout was 28.9%.[15]

In the 2007 Gran Consiglio election, there were a total of 89 registered voters in Sonogno, of which 51 or 57.3% voted. 2 blank ballots were cast, leaving 49 valid ballots in the election. The most popular party was the SSI which received 14 or 28.6% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were; the PPD+GenGiova (with 12 or 24.5%), the LEGA (with 10 or 20.4%) and the PS (with 6 or 12.2%).[16]

In the 2007 Consiglio di Stato election, The most popular party was the PS which received 13 or 25.5% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were; the PPD (with 12 or 23.5%), the LEGA (with 10 or 19.6%) and the LEGA (with 10 or 19.6%).[16]


As of  2007, Sonogno had an unemployment rate of 1.22%. As of 2005, there were 20 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 8 businesses involved in this sector. people were employed in the secondary sector and there were businesses in this sector. 20 people were employed in the tertiary sector, with 7 businesses in this sector.[9] There were 46 residents of the municipality who were employed in some capacity, of which females made up 37.0% of the workforce.

In 2000, there were 11 workers who commuted into the municipality and 16 workers who commuted away. The municipality is a net exporter of workers, with about 1.5 workers leaving the municipality for every one entering.[17] Of the working population, 4.3% used public transportation to get to work, and 47.8% used a private car.[9]

As of 2009, there was one hotel in Sonogno.[18]


Village church of Sonogno

From the 2000 census, 74 or 86.0% were Roman Catholic, while 1 or 1.2% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church. There are 6 individuals (or about 6.98% of the population) who belong to another church (not listed on the census), and 5 individuals (or about 5.81% of the population) did not answer the question.[10]


Sonogno has an average of 108.6 days of rain or snow per year and on average receives 2,110 mm (83 in) of precipitation. The wettest month is September during which time Sonogno receives an average of 249 mm (9.8 in) of rain or snow. During this month there is precipitation for an average of 8.3 days. The month with the most days of precipitation is May, with an average of 13.2, but with only 230 mm (9.1 in) of rain or snow. The driest month of the year is December with an average of 78 mm (3.1 in) of precipitation over 6.4 days.[19]


The entire Swiss population is generally well educated. In Sonogno about 66.7% of the population (between age 25-64) have completed either non-mandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule).[9]

In Sonogno there were a total of 8 students (as of 2009). The Ticino education system provides up to three years of non-mandatory kindergarten and in Sonogno there were 2 children in kindergarten. The primary school program lasts for five years. In the village, students attended the standard primary schools. 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 4 students in the two-year middle school, while 1 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).[20] There was 1 vocational student who was attending school full-time and 0 who attend part-time.[21]

As of 2000, there were 1 students from Sonogno who attended schools outside the municipality.[17]

In popular culture[edit]

In Pedro Almodóvar's movie Julieta, Julieta's daughter Antía lives in Sonogno.


  1. ^ a b "Arealstatistik Standard - Gemeinden nach 4 Hauptbereichen". Federal Statistical Office. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Ständige Wohnbevölkerung nach Staatsangehörigkeitskategorie Geschlecht und Gemeinde; Provisorische Jahresergebnisse; 2018". Federal Statistical Office. 9 April 2019. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Applikation der Schweizer Gemeinden". Swiss Federal Statistical Office. 2021. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e Sonogno in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  5. ^ Genealogical database of names in Sonogno Archived 2010-11-10 at the Wayback Machine accessed 10 December 2010
  6. ^ Altitudine, superficie, secondo il genere di utilizzazione, rilevazione 1992/1997, e densità della popolazione, nel 2000 Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine (in Italian) accessed 25 October 2010
  7. ^ Flags of the accessed 10-December-2010
  8. ^ a b Swiss Federal Statistical Office - Superweb database - Gemeinde Statistics 1981-2008 (in German) accessed 19 June 2010
  9. ^ a b c d e f Swiss Federal Statistical Office accessed 10-December-2010
  10. ^ a b Popolazione residente, secondo la lingua principale e la religione, nel 2000 Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine (in Italian) accessed 23 November 2010
  11. ^ a b 01.02.03 Popolazione residente permanente Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine (in Italian) accessed 23 November 2010
  12. ^ 09.02.01 Edifici Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine (in Italian) accessed 23 November 2010
  13. ^ a b 09.02.02 Abitazioni Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine (in Italian) accessed 23 November 2010
  14. ^ "Kantonsliste A-Objekte:Ticino" (PDF). KGS Inventar (in German). Federal Office of Civil Protection. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
  15. ^ Swiss Federal Statistical Office, Nationalratswahlen 2007: Stärke der Parteien und Wahlbeteiligung, nach Gemeinden/Bezirk/Canton (in German) accessed 28 May 2010
  16. ^ a b Elezioni cantonali: Gran Consiglio, Consiglio di Stato Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine (in Italian) accessed 23 November 2010
  17. ^ a b Swiss Federal Statistical Office - Statweb Archived 2012-08-04 at (in German) accessed 24 June 2010
  18. ^ Settori alberghiero e paralberghiero Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine (in Italian) accessed 23 November 2010
  19. ^ "Temperature and Precipitation Average Values-Table, 1961-1990" (in German, French, and Italian). Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology - MeteoSwiss. Archived from the original on 27 June 2009. Retrieved 8 May 2009., the weather station elevation is 925 meters above sea level.
  21. ^ Allievi e studenti, secondo il genere di scuola, anno scolastico 2009/2010 Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine (in Italian) accessed 23 November 2010

External links[edit]