|the German name for Ticino|
canton, southern Switzerland; wedge shaped, it protrudes into Italy to the west and south and is bounded by the cantons of Valais and Uri to the north and Graubunden to the northeast. About two-thirds of its area is reckoned as productive, much of it forested. The remainder consists of lakes, chiefly parts of Maggiore and Lugano, and glaciers. The Lepontine Alps rise in the north, reaching heights of 11,161 feet (3,402 m) at the Rheinwaldhorn and 10,738 feet (3,273 m) at the Basodino. The canton is dominated physically by three river systems occupying steep-sided valleys extending from the mountain frontier southward to Lake Maggiore. The chief system is that of the Ticino River, which rises in the northwest, flows east through the Bedretto valley and then southeast through the Leventina valley, receiving the left-bank tributaries Brenno (from the Blenio valley) and Moesa (from the Mesolcina valley) before curving westward above Bellinzona to enter the lake from the east. The wide, low valley formed by the combined Ticino and Brenno is called the Riviera. The western part of the canton is drained by the Maggia and its numerous right-bank tributaries, and the Verzasca valley lies between the Ticino and the Maggia. The remainder of the canton, a triangular fragment of broken hill country to the southeast, drains to Lake Lugano. The amount of lowland is small, occurring only in the lower river valleys and near the lakes.
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