The valley east of Berne is best known for its cheese and even to-day the hilly landscape has retained its rural character. Everywhere you see splendid farmhouses with wide overhanging roofs, which have been owned by the family for centuries. The poet Jeremias Gotthelf, who was a minister in the Emmental, described the Emmental (Tal = valley) in the early 19th century as follows: “Its horizon is limited narrowly by wooded hills, at who’s foot countless valleys trail, watered by rushing streams that in silent murmur toss their load until it finds the womb of the Emme ... The Emmental person is similar to his land. His field of vision is not wide, but what he sees he observes wisely and sharply; he does not quickly grasp the new ... but what he has once seized and understood he holds with a wonderful tenacious strength. He does not speak much, he is not driven by noise; but if he once puts a hand to something he does not let off until everything is done, and if he ever breaks loose, may his limbs be protected!” (- free translation)
Panorama Mountain with Traditional Hotel
With its 1 408 meters, the highest peak of the Napfbergland (highland) is worth a visit mainly because of its panoramic view. In fine weather one looks out over the Jura, the Alps of Eastern Switzerland and as far as the glaciers of the Bernese Highlands. On the summit is a mountain hotel, built in 1882, where one can eat well all year round, especially the Napf-meringues, specialty of the house. The starting point for hikes to the summit is the Mettlenalp (1 052 m above sea level) in the south.
Italy & Switzerland: On the Rooftop of Europe