The development of Switzerland stretches back to 1291. A defensive alliance was formed among three cantons, forming the Swiss Confederation. It gained independence from the Roman Empire in 1499. As a result the Swiss population is formed from distinct linguistic groups, French, Italian, German and the traditional Romansch. It is common for Swiss residents to be multilingual. Swiss German has over 240 dialects.
Switzerland holds mountainous regions, with Jura in the north and the Alps in the south – famous for their ski slopes. The central plateau however holds rolling hills, great lakes and plains, creating a luscious green landscape during the summer months. Famous for it’s rural mountain towns with their pine lodges and chalets, Switzerland also holds cities each with a unique character – from the vibrant and thriving, to the traditional and cultured.