The melting of a glacier in the Alps has altered the border between Switzerland and Italy

The Alps are undergoing changes as a result of climate change, to the point that the border between Switzerland and Italy is becoming blurred. A melting glacier means that an Italian mountain lodge is now on Swiss soil, which has sparked a conflict between the nations. The Ice retreat Theodul caused the basin dividing the boundary to slide towards the Rifugio Guide del Cervino, near the summit of Testa Grigia, at 3,480 metres.

According to the French agency France Press agencyThe dispute over asylum has been in diplomatic negotiations since 2018, and an agreement was reached last year, the details of which are unknown. The inn was built in 1984 on an Italian rocky area and now two-thirds of the inn is in southern Switzerland, including most of the rooms and the restaurant.

The dispute over asylum has been in diplomatic negotiations since 2018


third parties

The refuge is located in an area heavily visited by tourists, namely at the top of one of the largest ski resorts in the world. In November 2021, an agreement was reached in Florence, according to which the dispute will be divided, but the result will be effective only with the consent of the Swiss government, which will not happen until next year.

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Andrea Amantegui Guzala


Alain Wicht, a border officer with the Swisstopo national cartographic agency, looks after 7,000 markers along the nearly 2,000 km of Swiss borders with France, Italy, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein. Wicht was part of the negotiations between Italy and Switzerland and, according to AFP, declared that despite the fact that neither side was a winner, at least he lost none.

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Between 1973 and 2010, Theodul Glacier lost nearly a quarter of its volume

Between 1973 and 2010, the Tudol glacier lost nearly a quarter of its volume, altering the drainage gap and forcing a redefinition of about 100 meters of the boundary. Border Officer Wicht commented that these modifications were frequent and usually resolved without the involvement of politicians. In this case, although he asserts that the land is not worth much, we find the building that adds economic value to the land.

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Joaquim Alcacho

Comparative images of the southern face of Mount Marmolada, from 1916 to 2020, with the namesake glacier in the upper central segment.

Jean-Philippe Amsteen, the former president of Swisstopo, announced that these types of disputes were resolved by exchanging plots of land of similar value. However, this time Switzerland does not seem interested in “acquiring a piece of the glacier and the Italians cannot compensate for the loss of the Swiss surface”. Although the details of the agreement are not known, Lucio Trucco, the caretaker of the refuge, has already been informed that he will remain on Italian soil.

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