Monte Verità – Ascona, Switzerland - Atlas Obscura

Monte Verità

Ascona, Switzerland

The Swiss hilltop housed an early 20th-century vegetarian nudist colony. 


In 1900, a man named Henri Oedenkoven bought Monte Verità, which translates to “Hill of Truth.” He, along with feminist pianist Ida Hofmann, soon established a vegetarian nudist colony on the Swiss hilltop.

Vegetable-loving, clothes-eschewing individuals swarmed to Monte Verità, creating their own little utopia that attracted a fair share of anarchists and early socialists.

Its individualistic residents were “tolerantly intolerant.” They were against private property, marriage, party politics, and, obviously, conventional dress. The colonists also opened a sunbathing establishment called the Monte Verità Sanatorium.

After the utopia’s founders emigrated in the 1920s, Monte Verità was transformed into a Modernist hotel that still stands today. The hilltop continued to attract an assortment of creative people and unconventional thinkers from all walks of life. It’s been a welcome haven for philosophers, free thinkers, and artists.

Now, the site also houses a conference facility and a museum about the hill’s history. The museum is spread across three different buildings: the wooden building that once housed the nudist vegetarian colony’s headquarters, the small building once used by the sunbathers, and another building that holds a painting called The Clear World of the Blessed

Know Before You Go

Visitors are welcome to wander about the manicured grounds, and can book an organized tour.

In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web