Travel

Ticino – Magical sunshine close to home?

Ticino is like love – opposites attract! Palm trees and glaciers, la dolce vita and extreme sport, ancient churches, and modern architecture.

At the southern-most part of Switzerland, where there’s always a hint of Italy in the air, opposites work in complete harmony. Imagine a place where you can hike across a glacier in the morning and nap under the palm trees in the afternoon.

In the Locarno region with its Alpine hinterland, this is more than possible. Outdoor lovers can hike the Ticino alpine world through quiet valleys and secluded villages.

Once you’re off the hills, you can stroll across the lively Piazza Riforma in Lugano with its relaxed atmosphere of Mediterranean dolce vita. A trip through time from the 1,500-year-old baptistry in Riva San Vitale to Mario Botta’s avant-garde chapel on Monte Tamaro takes less than 30 minutes.

Be seduced by the many suggestive spots, the colours and the flavours of the “Dolce Vita” that make this land unique and unforgettable!

Let’s discover the secrets of Ticino little by little

Lugano:

Switzerland’s third-largest financial centre, Lugano is uniquely situated on the lake in the foothills of the southern Alps, overlooked by Monte Brè and Mount San Salvatore and enjoys a mild climate with lush vegetation. The town blends business, elegance and international status with a relaxed southern lifestyle. The parks, villas, churches, museums and shops invite visitors to take in the sights, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the “dolce far niente” (the sweetness of doing nothing).

Ascona:

A real oasis of wellbeing often described as “the pearl of Lake Maggiore”, Ascona is well-known across the globe as a top-quality holiday resort. Numerous restaurants, cafés and bars that stay open until the small hours.

Ascona is more than just a chic party-village: this picturesque town has a rich cultural and historical heritage to discover.

Locarno:

Locarno has the mildest climate in Switzerland. The region is blessed with almost 2,300 hours of sunshine each year and an average temperature of 15.5°C, which enables flora and fauna to flourish. The cultural highlight is the international film festival, so-called Locarno Festival, held each year in August. During this time, the famous Piazza Grande becomes the most beautiful open-air cinema theatre under the stars.

Bellinzona:

The capital city of the Canton, with its impressive legacy of castles (which were declared world cultural heritage by UNESCO), towers and a defensive wall that dominates the skyline. Discover a real city, on Saturday mornings, by browsing among the stalls of its market or during the carnival season, visiting the playful reign of ‘King’ Rabadan. You really can inhale history here, in every step you take!

Mendrisiotto:

Thick chestnut and beech woods, lush vineyards and bright green pastures: The Mendrisio region (also known as the “Mendrisiotto”) is a balm for the soul and a feast for the eyes, its beauty reflected in Lake Lugano. Behind the villages, the ridges and romantic hills of the Mendrisiotto rise and turn, peaking at Mount Generoso and Mount San Giorgio, the two mountains lure visitors with their attractions and stunningly beautiful vistas.

And what about the Gastronomy?

Even the history of food and drink is rich and varied here! Hardship famously leads to creativity, that explains the richness of Ticino cuisine which finds its roots in local ingredients, lovingly prepared. Delicious and unique dishes such as a savoury and cheesy polenta, cured meats, and heartwarming vegetables minestrone. The traditional Ticino culinary culture is groundbreaking insofar as it is now where everyone wants to be: close to its roots.

How can we not talk about the fantastic nature this Region offers?

The south of Europe starts just beyond the Gotthard. With every kilometre, the air gets a little warmer, the mountains grow a little greener and the landscape changes gradually from Alpine coniferous forest to Mediterranean palm trees. Camellias, magnolias, azaleas, peonies and rhododendrons bursting forth with a kaleidoscope of colours, the heady scent of mimosas, well-tended palm gardens and magnificent views of the deep-blue Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano make the Ticino the perfect place for nature lovers to enjoy a walk. Anyone who has ever travelled the route south knows only too well what a relaxing effect Ticino has on you as you reach it. The ideal place for you to drop down a gear and treat yourself to a little bit of relaxation in harmony with nature.

Ticino is rich in places waiting to be explored! Even remote areas can be easily discovered by bus, railway and cableway – perfect for visiting places you have never been. The Ticino Ticket offers visitors free use of the canton’s public transport network, so why not leave the car where it is and explore Ticino on foot? There’s no better way to get close to nature.

Ticino – a place to fall in love with!

For more information and places to stay, visit:  www.ticino.ch/getaway

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