Ticino is often referred to as the most glamorous region in Switzerland because of its Italian feel with waterfront promenades, palm tree-lined beaches, beautiful piazzas and sunshine. Here are the top five things to see in the Ticino region.
Located on the northern side of Lake Lugano, the city offers a perfect mix of Italian chic and Swiss standard. Several large gardens are lush with camellias, magnolias and sub-tropical plants. The meticulously restored traffic-free Old Town has stunning architecture and a great atmosphere. Lugano boasts a number of excellent galleries and museums with works by world-famous artists such as Klee, Renoir, Degas and others.
Hope on the train for one of the most scenic rides in Europe, between Locarno and Domodossola, in the stunning area called Centovalli (“one hundred valleys” in Italian). From the vintage rail cars, you can admire the formidable Alpine peaks, picturesque villages, waterfalls and gorges while slowly making your way across 83 bridges.
Located on the northern shores of Lake Maggiore, Ascona is one of the most popular Swiss resorts with smart hotels, splendid sunshine and mild winters. Its lake promenade is dotted with charming cafes and elegant boutiques. Tennis courts, an open-air swimming pool, boat trips on the lake, hiking, excellent restaurants keep the visitors busy.
The town’s famous three castles Castelgrande, Montebello, Sasso Corbaro will take your breath away. Due to its strategic position in the Alps, Romans, Longobards, various Milanese power houses built and enlarged the formidable fortresses in Bellinzona over many centuries. Today, the castles offer a glance into the region’s fascinating history and spectacular panoramas over the Alps. The town’s cobblestone narrow street, well-preserved Medieval buildings overlooked by the citadels will take you back in time.
Surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Rigi, Pilatus and Stanserhorn, Lucerne combines innovative architecture with well-preserved old gems such as the covered, medieval Chapel Bridge, historic houses decorated with frescoes and many beautiful Baroque churches.
Photos via Flickr by: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, Emmanuelle Nater, Michael Dawes.