In areas there are plentiful rocks, boulders, outcrops, quarries on the south side of the Alp slope valleys. People used the plentiful local rock to build walls, and they also used the cavities in and around rocks in ingenious ways.
Pictures below are from the Val Maggia (and its offshoot Val Bavona) but there are structures like this in other Ticinese valleys as well (Val Leventina, e.g.)
Above is a shed, using a leaning boulder as partial wall and roof.
Below is a pen, with a wall of stones built up under the cliff.
Both were for goats, as cows could not navigate the steep and rocky terrain.
The steps seen below right lead up to a 'hanging garden.'
When torrential floods in the 1500's washed away fields and crops, growing areas were created on the tops of large boulders, safe from being washed away.