People have long been drawn to Switzerlandâ€™s Monte Generoso for the views, catching the cogwheel railway to the 1,701-meter summit for panoramic vistas over Lake Lugano and the white arc of the Alps to the north, and Italyâ€™s Po River and the Apennines to the south. Today, they have a new reason to visit this mountain perch in the Italian speaking canton of Ticino: the Fiore di Pietra (â€śFlower of Stoneâ€ť). Acclaimed Ticinese architect Mario Botta lent his deft hand to the project, his admiration for Le Corbusierâ€™s modernist lines evident from the moment you glimpse the buildingâ€™s octagonal form of concrete, gray stone, and glass. Set on the edge of a steep cliff face, the structureâ€™s eight â€śpetalsâ€ť enclose a central space encompassing five stories with an observation deck at the crown and a restaurant one floor below. Chef Luca Bassan is behind the menu here, his dishes taking inspiration from the surrounding Alpine landscapes. While seasonal, offerings might include a porcini tart with crayfish and black truffle, or white sturgeon with cauliflower-and-licorice cream and a goatâ€™s-cheese gratin. The ultimate finale? Be sure to order the house-cured meats and mountain cheeses served alongside local honey and mustard.
This article originally appeared in theÂ April/MayÂ 2017Â print issue of DestinAsian magazine (â€śPeaked Interestâ€ť).