Why Switzerland’s ‘little Italy’ is a must-see city to your journey bucket listing

Cuckoo clocks, precision watches and fondue are simply a number of the stuff you may affiliate with Switzerland. Lizards, pizza and neoclassical buildings not a lot.

But Ticino, an Italian-speaking canton within the south of the nation, identified for its balmy local weather and subtropical gardens, in addition to – naturally – breathtaking Alpine surroundings, has all of them.

Simply over an hour’s drive from Milan or a panoramic practice and ferry journey south from Lucerne, Ticino is Switzerland’s very personal little Italy.

Listed here are a number of the finest spots to go to whenever you’re there.

An unashamedly Italian area

Located on the northern shores of the glacial Lake Lugano, Lugano is unashamedly Italian, with a tradition intently associated to Italy’s Lombardy area.

The historic metropolis of 70,000, an essential banking centre, is packed filled with Italianate buildings, Mediterranean-style squares and exquisite parks, like Parco Ciani, which sits proper by the lake and comprises a jetty and a library, in addition to vegetation and timber from everywhere in the world.

It’s all ignored by the hovering Monte Brè and San Salvatore mountains. Sit and watch the world go by over a cappuccino at Vanini Dolce e Caffè in Piazza Riforma. Or attempt a slice of ‘bread cake’, an area speciality constructed from amaretto, grappa and off bread (it’s far tastier than it sounds) from Gabbani salumeria on By way of Pessina.

Morcote is Ticino’s most lovely village

An hour’s ferry trip from Lugano and only a 20-minute drive to the Italian border, Morcote is certainly one of Ticino’s loveliest villages, a lakeside idyll flanked by multi-million greenback villas that cling to the decrease slopes of Monte Arbostora.

Ristorante della Torre has created the right lunch spot with an open-air coated terrace overhanging the lake and serves gourmand pizza and different Italian delicacies.

Work off the energy with a climb up 402 steps to the Chiesa Santa Maria del Sasso, a Fifteenth-century church with frescoes and a view to die for. 

In Parco Scherrer, a stepped Italianate backyard named after its late founder and passionate gardener Arthur Scherrer, tiny lizards dart among the many cypresses and eucalyptus timber. 

Whereas mini variations of the Trevi Fountain in Rome and an Arabian palace add a observe of playfulness.

In case you’re searching for a romantic wedding ceremony location – and also you could not do significantly better than this – you may hire the gardens to your huge day.

Make a splash in Locarno

Fairly Locarno, a resort city located on the northern shore of Lake Maggiore on the base of the Alps, is known for having the sunniest local weather in Switzerland.

It additionally hosts an annual movie competition (this yr is its seventy fifth anniversary) in Piazza Grande which attracts Hollywood A-listers and there are numerous wonderful artwork collections within the splendid palazzi hidden within the hillsides.

To loosen up after a day’s sightseeing, take a dip within the Termali Salini & Spa, a public saltwater pool and spa overlooking the lake and mountains. When the mercury rises in summer time, cool off in Lido Locarno – it has an Olympic-size out of doors swimming pool, in addition to thermal swimming pools, water chutes, slides and wave results and is a enjoyable day trip for adults and kids.

For a spot to remain, Lodge Belvedere has 90 refurbished rooms, tropical landscaped gardens and a funicular cease simply outdoors the grounds. Opened within the late nineteenth century, it is set on a hillside with panoramic views over the lake and Locarno itself. A double room with balcony, lake view and buffet breakfast begins from €282.

Bellinzona is Ticino’s picturesque capital

Dominated by the “tre castelli”, three Fifteenth-century castles constructed by the dukes of Milan and now a UNESCO World Heritage web site, Bellinzona is the capital of the Ticino, certainly one of Switzerland’s 26 cantons, or areas.

Go to for the energetic weekly market (held on Saturday mornings), picturesque piazzas and large selection of unbiased boutiques and cafes. The town can be one of many important stops on the Gotthard Panorama Categorical, an exhilarating four-hour practice and boat trip by way of fairytale Alpine surroundings to Lucerne within the German-speaking a part of Switzerland, 140km to the north.

On the best way, you’ll go Swiss folks hero William Inform’s chapel and the Rütli meadow, the place Switzerland was based in 1291. A second-class ticket prices €51.50.

Ascona is made for the passeggiata

With its delicate local weather and traffic-free lakeside promenade dotted with cafes and eating places, Ascona, on the northern shore of Lake Maggiore was made for the passeggiata, the leisurely night stroll beloved of so many Italians.

The Latin atmosphere continues in Borgo, the outdated city, the place slim, winding streets include extra fascinating locations to eat and the Sixteenth-century bell tower of San Pietro e Paolo church serves as a landmark.

Within the Maggiatal and Centovalli valleys close by, there are many mountaineering and biking trails and, on the sting of city, an 18-hole golf course.