Thursday, March 26, 2009

Melting snow prompts border change between Switzerland and Italy


Ryder-Walker Guide and Office Guru, Mike Thurk, forwarded me a wonderful photo yesterday. The object in the foreground is called a grolla, and it's an object that's unique to the Val d'Aosta region of northern Italy. The grolla is a drinking cup filled with espresso, grappa and secret Italian love. Friends come together and pass this thing around while drinking from one of the multiple wooden spouts.

You find these "friendship cups" in Courmayeur, but you also find them in the stores around Cervinia, directly opposite of Zermatt, which got me thinking about the recent article below. Will there a be a day when the grolla becomes a popular tradition in Zermatt? What about rösti and weizen bier in Cervinia? Check out the following article to see what I'm talking about. The affected area includes the region around the Matterhorn.

From the Independent:

Global warming is dissolving the Alpine glaciers so rapidly that Italy and Switzerland have decided they must re-draw their national borders to take account of the new realities.

The border has been fixed since 1861, when Italy became a unified state. But for the past century the surface area of the “cryosphere”, the zone of glaciers, permanent snow cover and permafrost, has been shrinking steadily, with dramatic acceleration in the past five years. This is the area over which the national frontier passes and the two countries have now agreed...read more.

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