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. Ascona, Tenero, Valle Verzasca, Locarno, Vallemaggia, Gambarogno, Brissago and Ronco s/Ascona, Centovalli, Valle Onsernone
The heart of the city is the Piazza Grande, well-known for its annual film festival. The narrow lanes of the Old Town all lead to the Piazza. Castello Visconteo, a castle dating back to the 12th century, lies at the edge of the Old Town. About a fifth of the castle has been preserved in its original state.
The pilgrimage church of Madonna del Sasso is located above Locarno, in Orselina. The church is said to have been established as a result of an appearance of the Virgin Mary. It is the most notable sight in Locarno, and boasts an extraordinary view of the city, the lake and the mountains.
The Piazza Grande is Locarno’s heart, an enchanting backdrop for the International Film Festival and the “Moon and Stars” festival. Discover the lake Maggiore by boat.
Cardada cimetta, castle of Locarno, lake Maggiore, Lido Locarno, sacred mount Madonna del Sasso, Verzasca valley, piazza grande, lake promenade Locarno
Locarno Film Festival, open air festival Moon & Stars
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