The Contra river is 3.1 km long and partly marks the boundary between the three municipalities of Minusio, Tenero-Contra and Brione sopra Minusio. In the past, the power of the water was harnessed to work and transform primary materials (cutting and grinding processes).
Vineyards near Tenero-Mondacce, Werner Friedli, 1953

Until the middle of the last century, agricultural activities occupied all the vacant land. The photo shows part of the Mappo countryside overlooking the lake, while on the hills towards Mondacce the vineyards dominate. You can still walk along the path that descends next to the small cemetery in Mondacce, which reaches the waterfall after a short stretch. It then continues through a forest and vineyards to reach the lake below the mouth of the Mappo-Morettina tunnel.

The Cescone, and its vineyards, enjoy optimal sun exposure from April to September. Thanks to the steep slope, the plants are not shaded and the south-facing terracing walls absorb the heat, creating a microclimate favourable to the ripening of grapes. Recently renovated, the vineyard contains 3,000.
The grotto ‘Alla Cascata’

The restaurant at the Minusio waterfall, which was open until the 1950s, was a popular meeting place for decades. People would meet up to enjoy a drink together and to play ‘bocce’, a type of bowls. The remains of the walls which once contained the bocce pitch can be seen along the path leading to the waterfalls. Pigs, cows, chickens and horses were kept in the stables annexed to the house. A snowplough was attached to the horses to clear snow from the road.
Yew (Taxus baccata)
The yew is a medium-sized evergreen conifer. In optimal conditions, it can reach a height of 15 to 20 metres and live for 3,000 years. The wood from the yew is elastic and durable – properties which mean it has always been used to make bows and other weapons. All parts of the tree are highly toxic which is why it is also known as the ‘tree of death’ in European folklore. Appearing spontaneously in our woodlands, it is also used as an ornamental plant with its typical red berries which can be admired but never eaten.