Doing SOTA&Contests from Italy and Switzerland this Summer

This summer, my YL Eldina and I are planning to travel to Italy, France, and Switzerland. Of course, there will be a few sota activation along the way, which I will post about in time.
Additionally, I’m planning to do some VHF contesting from two sota summits:
• CW WW VHF Contest, hilltopper category, on July 21st, from Punta Martin, I/LG-329, and
• Alpe-Adria VHF Contest, QRP-above-1000masl category, on August 4th, from Monte Generoso/​Calvagione HB/TI-101.
If the WX is OK, I’ll do these contests the sota-way, and will upload my contest logs to the sotadata site.
I, however, do have some concerns and questions and would like to ask sota friends who are familiar with these two summits to help me with the following:
• Which callsign should I use: I/E77Z or I1/E77Z on Punta Martin and HB/E77Z or HB9/E77Z on Monte Generoso?
• Am I obligated to use /P suffix while doing contests from a summit in either Italy or Switzerland?
• What are chances that during these long stays on the summits (6-8 hours), I would be approached by officials of any kind, and what would be the best way to deal with them. (My country, Bosnia, is a CEPT country and that is clearly indicated on my amateur radio license.)
• I guess there would be a lot of people on the summits, especially if weather is nice, and I would certainly like to avoid getting in their way. Would somebody suggest a specific location near the summit (but still in the AZ), with good takeoff angle, open views (especially to the East), and uncrowded as much as possible.
• In the case of bad weather that would force me to operate non-sota way, i.e. from my car, could somebody please suggest an alternative nearby location, which is accessible by car and more or less in line with the criteria mentioned above (except the AZ one, of course).
Any help/information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
73 de Zoran, e77z

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If you are holder of a full license, you should use HB9/E77Z in Switzerland and HB0/E77Z in Liechtenstein.
In mainland Italy, I think you can use everywhere the I/ prefix.

I think the chances are very small unless you are actively disturbing somebody. When operating in Canada, I took a copy of the CEPT regulation with me, but never had to show them.

I think you can drive with your car along a narrow winding road about halfway up to Monte Generoso, up to about 45.9075,9.00235 if my memory serves me correctly. There you might have some open space to east / south-east.

Hope this helps.
73 de Martin / HB9GVW


Hi Martin.

Thank you for your response and useful information. It certainly helps in my preparation for the Alpe-Adria VHF contest in August.

In the meantime I searched the Net extensively. It looks like all the locations in vicinity of Monte Generoso/​Calvagione with altitude less than 1600m asl are pretty much in the middle of a forest. So, I decided to go to the summit and try working the contest from there. In the case of really bad weather, I guess I’ll find a no-complaints shelter in one of the restaurants in the Fiore di Pietra building.

Similarly for the cq ww vhf contest (and the Italian Apulia vhf qrp contest), I’ll try to participate from the Punta Martin summit itself and just in the case of bad weather will look for shelter in one of the bivouacs at the nearby Monte Penello summit. It looks like good people of Liguria built two of them, Bivacco Arnaldo Bellani and Bivacco Zucchelli-Bruzzone, next to each other :slightly_smiling_face:.

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I/E77Z is ok for Italy.
73 Fabio

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Thanks, Fabio!

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You should be able to drive at least up to 45.90734755481689, 9.002468332148151 Osteria la Peonia. Around there, there should be some free spaces towards South-East. swisstopo, the Swiss Mapping Agency, has some of the best maps worldwide and they are freely viewable on the internet. At this Osteria it seems to indicate a driving ban, but in bad weather, I guess there won’t be many people around to complain. If you get a fine, you can drown your frustration at the Ristorante-Grotto Eremo S. Nicolao with a nice Grappa :slight_smile:

Monte Generoso may be your best bet for the Alpe-Adria VHF Contest. Ticino is quite rugged and Generoso a high summit far in the south.

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Yes, you are right, Martin. There are quite a few places of interest (elevated meadows) around Osteria la Peonia: one south-west of the osteria (position 45.904781, 8.997307, elevation 1168m asl), one near Dosso Delle Mede (position 45.904247, 9.011548, elevation 1177m asl), and many others. But, then, there is the apartment that we’ll rent for the first few days of August. It is at the end of La Grassa road (position 45.891255, 9.013826), at the altitude of 1150+ masl, with a great takeoff angle and a stunning view. I could practically work in the contest from my balcony. The only thing is the view is toward the West and the main action in the contest is in the regions and the countries on the other side…
So, Monte Generoso looks like the best VHF location between Lago di Lugano and Lago di Como and I’ll definitely try to reach its peak on the morning of the contest. Still, if I fail, a few shots of Grappa will be there to make me forget about my misfortune easily. Actually, I’m enjoying a local version of it right now. Cheers, Martin!

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