San Salvatore

World's first Freezy Frame


Siamo orgogliosi di installare il primo Freezy Frame al mondo sulla cima del Monte San Salvatore a Lugano. Il panorama spettacolare si estende dalle Alpi italiane del Piemonte alle Alpi Pennine della Svizzera. Si possono osservare un totale di 16 ghiacciai! La cornice gialla dà quella piccola spinta necessaria non solo per guardare un panorama alpino, ma per vedere effettivamente i ghiacciai. Quindi andate avanti: guardate, vedete e posate con loro attraverso la nostra cornice e condividete le vostre foto sui social network con l’hashtag #recognice!


We are proud to install world’s first Freezy Frame on top of Monte San Salvatore in Lugano. The spectacular vista stretches from the Italian Alps of Piedmont to the Pennine Alps of Switzerland. Clear skies allow you to observe and be by a grand total of 16 glaciers! The frame gives you that little push needed to not just look at an Alpine panorama, but to actually see the glaciers. So go ahead: look, see and pose with those icy giants and share your best pictures with #recognice!

San Salvatore's 16

The 16 glaciers visible from Monte San Salvatore in Lugano. Pictures kindly provided by U. Raz.


Etymology and facts

The term “pioda” or “piode” is used in Valsesi to indicate “slabs of rocks” (in Piedmontese also “losa”). In fact, in the Monte Rosa area, the gneissic rocks are often massive, sometimes fractured into regular slabs, used since ancient times as an architectural element (especially as roofing).

Derives from sèṡia s. f. [lat. scient. Sesia, nome di genere, der. del gr. σής “tignola”]. – Common name of lepidoptera (also known as butterflies) of the sesidi family, parasites of fruit plants, pear trees and apple trees (in Italian, “sesidi del pero”, “sesidi del melo” etc.). A popular saying about Monte Sesia goes back to the “mountain of fairies and witches”: in fact, the pinnacles, caves and woods give an enchanted atmosphere, and those who know how to capture the magic of nature believe that this pictorial etymology is not entirely false.

Coming soon

Though the Italian Rosa as well as the French Rose both mean “pink”, the name is a false cognate derived from the Franco-Provençal Valdôtain patois word rouése, meaning “glacier”. On old maps as late as 1740, the mountain was named Monte Bosa and even Monte Biosa by the inhabitants of Val Sesia.

Ghiaccaio del Nordend is named after the Nordend peak in the Monte Rosa Massif by Ludwig von der Welden (The Monte Rosa. Vienna 1824, 37f.). This peak is literally situated on the North of the Dufour peak, the highest point of Switzerland (4’634m).

Located in the Italian region of Piedmont, this glacier has its name primarily from the Kleiner Fillarhorn Peak; beside it, there is the Grosse Fillarhorn Peak. Both peaks are however in Swiss municipality of Zermatt. Fillar is furthermore the name of an Alp Fillar on Italian territory. Paul Zinsli (in “Südwalser Namengut”, Berne, 1984, p. 301) knows the word but does not give any interpretation. It can be assumed that the Latin adjective “villāris” means “belonging to the estate” (here probably: belonging to the Italian village Macugnaga) (cf. French Etymological Dictionary Vol. 14, p. 456). This interpretation is uncertain.

Located in the Italian region of Piedmont, it probably got its name from the Roffel Horns and the Roffel Pass, which in turn go back to the Roffel Alp in Italian territory. Paul Zinsli (in “Südwalser Namengut”, Berne, 1984, 578f.) attributes “Roffel” (and “Rofal” in his case) to the main “Rufine” lemma which means “earth slippage, mud flow, scree slope”, which then again probably goes back to “rovina” and “ruina”.

The glacier is called Seewjinen Glacier, however in the VSNB database it is referred as the “Seewjinugletscher”. Its name derives from “Ze Seewjinu” (VSNB), Zen Seewjinen (“near the small lakes”), which probably gave the name to the Seewjinenhorn. From the glacier, the Seebach flows into the Saaser Vispa.

The glacier is called Schwarzberggletscher, however in the VSNB database it is referred as the “Schwarzbärggletscher”, in the area of the Swiss municipality of Saas Almagell. The glacier probably got its name from the Schwarzbärgalpe (above the Mattmark reservoir), which probably also gave the Schwarzberghorn its name.

The Strahlhorn Peak (in the Swiss municipality of Zermatt) is listed in the database of the VSNB as “ts Straalhore”. At its bottom lies an ice field, which is probably named after the glacier. “Strahl” is usually the dialectal name for a rock crystal or other rare minerals that it has there according to the description. Besides this Strahlhorn, there are several other places named like this in the Upper Wallis region.

Only the Fluchthorn Peak (on the Swiss municipality of Saas Almagell) is listed, at the foot of which there is an ice field. In the VSNB file, it appears as “ts Fluchthoru”. On its side is the so-called Fluchtpass. The main lemma “Fluchthoru” only occurs here and is otherwise missing in the Upper Wallis village and field names. An interpretation is therefore not possible for us.

The glacier is called Allalingletscher below the Allalinhorn Peak. In the VSNB database, it appears as the “Aleliingletscher” and it belongs to the municipality of Saas Almagell. It is named after the massif Allalin (dial. Alelii with final emphasis), which probably does not originate from the massif but from an alpine pasture. The name gave rise to the so-called Saracen hypothesis, which in our opinion is not correct.

The glacier is located near the Allalinhorn Peak and belongs to the Swiss municipalities of Saas Almagell and Saas Grund. In our file, it appears as the “Holöübgletscher”. The Holöübbach flows from the glacier into the Saas Vispa. The field name “Holöüb” is otherwise not documented. It probably means ‘the high foliage’, whereby ‘foliage’ is unclear, but probably simply means the foliage (green alder) above the tree line.

The glacier is probably named after Fee, the original name of the Swiss village of Saas Fee. “Fee” is not the German “Fee” (“fairy” in English), but goes back to a Latin word “feta” ‘(female) sheep’. The intervocalic /t/ disappeared early.

This glacier is located between Lagginhorn Peak and Fletschhorn Peak in the Swiss municipality of Simplon. Jordan (2006, p. 266 knows it as a holuntrift glacier and makes it a holuntrift.) We know the area “Holutrifft” as the “Holutrift”, a sheep pasture with hollow (Simplon), which is located below the glacier.

It is located between Monte Leone and Breithorn Peak. For Erich Jordan (in “Orts- und Flurnamen Simplon Süd”, 2006, 294 as Alpjärgletschär), it is located in the Swiss municipality of Zwischbergen above the area “t Alpje, die Alpjen” (name of a larger alpine area)’ (cf Jordan, 2006, p. 265 as Alpjä).

Glacier science

Below you’ll find the evolution of glaciers with a long measurement record. Zoom, select individual glaciers and hover over the figures to see the numbers. Double clicking resets the whole plot. 

This Freezy Frame is supported by the

Città di Lugano & Monte San Salvatore

An eye for ice