Beyond the Alps begins the south: A mild climate, subtropical gardens, romantic landscapes, wild valleys, Romanesque churches and picturesque alleys that open onto busy squares.
You can enjoy Mediterranean atmosphere on Lake Maggiore. In front of snowy peaks you see palm trees. Dolce Vita is celebrated in cities such as Ascona and Locarno. A film festival takes place here every August on the beautiful Piazza Grande. The largest city is called Lugano, located on Lake Lugano, framed by lush mountains such as Monte Generoso or San Salvatore. Bellinzona, Ticino's capital, is dominated by a mighty fortress of three very well-preserved medieval castles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Not far from Ascona and close to the Italian border is the small village of Brissago. It lies at the lowest point in Switzerland, only 197 metres above sea level. Brissago is nestled between the shores of Lake Maggiore and the steep mountain slopes. The lower, oldest part of the village huddles around the beautiful Renaissance church of San Pietro e Paolo, surrounded by centuries-old cypress trees. Stroll through narrow enchanted alleys and discover the Brissago Islands by boat.
Lugano lies in a bay on the northern side of Lake Lugano, surrounded by numerous mountains offering splendid viewpoints. The traffic-free historic town centre, the numerous buildings in Italianate Lombardy style, the exclusive museums, the mountains, lake and a packed calendar of events all invite visitors to see the sights, soak up the atmosphere – and enjoy "dolce far niente". Thanks to its mild climate, Lugano is a popular tourist destination in the spring when the camellias are in bloom.
The town centre with its Mediterranean-style squares and arcades, and numerous parks with sub-tropical plants such as the Parco Civico on the shores of the lake invite you to laze around, enjoying the atmosphere. By the lakeside promenade are the Belvedere Gardens, where the parkland boasts not only camellias and magnolias but also countless sub-tropical plants and modern works of art.
Art connoisseurs are attracted to this city of art and architecture by the high standard of the exhibitions it hosts. In the MASI (Museo d’Arte della Svizzera Italiana) are paintings by Klee, Jawlensky, Renoir and Degas, among others. In the last 50 years, the Ticino region, and Lugano in particular, have developed into an important region for architecture. The most well-known representatives of the "Ticino School" are Luigi Snozzi and Mario Botta. EFG Bank AG, the Palazzo Ransila (Via Pretorio) and his own workshop on the Via Ciani are good examples.
Cattedrale S. Lorenzo, Monte Bré, museum Hermann Hesse, Parco Civio-Ciani, San Salvatore