Photo/Bild: Fondazione Casa Tondü di Lionza.

The Tondü Palace

The canton of Tessin has welcomed many German-speaking Swiss visitors in the  summer of 2020. For many it was a discovery of this beautiful canton. How many, however, know the Tondü Palace in the village of Lionza, near Locarno?

The village has only twenty inhabitants nowadays. The Italian palace at an altitude of 780 meters in a small town was built between 1650 and 1690.

It began with the chimney sweep Andrea Tondü left the village and moved to Parma with his two sons in the seventeenth century. His sons became rich and built the palace in their native village.

The family was engaged in the silk trade and banking sector and settled in Parma.

The palace in Tondü was their summer residence. One of the descendants, Pietro Antonio Tondü, later became the intendant of the Duke of Parma at the end of the  seventeenth century

 In 1784, the Tondü family donated the palace to the village of Lionza. The palace was abandoned and became a meeting hall for the villagers.

There are plans to renovate the castle. (Source: Fondazione casa Tondü di Lionza,