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Blick auf Lugano in der Region Tessin, Bild: LaMiaFotografia / shutterstock

Ticino – enjoy the sun under palm trees in Switzerland

If you leave the Gotthard tunnel in the south, you will reach Ticino, the southernmost canton of Switzerland. Here you can say goodbye to the snow-covered Alpine landscapes and get to know Switzerland from a completely different side. At the popular Ticino lakes, the Laggo Maggiore and the Lago di Lugano, you can expect palm groves, blue water and a Mediterranean climate that invites you to swim and sunbathe.

La Dolce Vita in the cities of Ticino

Lugano, Switzerland
Lugano, Image: Olga P Galkina / shutterstock

What makes Ticino so special? The sweet life of Italy. Italy, which is only a few kilometres away, shapes the lifestyle in the towns and villages of Ticino and underlines the Mediterranean flair of the region in an extraordinary way – Italian is also the official language here.

Lugano, probably the most popular city in Ticino, is located directly on the shores of Lake Lugano. After a long sunbath or a leisurely boat tour, you can stroll through the narrow streets of the city and enjoy traditional Italian dishes or an aperó with friends and family in one of the many restaurants.

For a beautiful view of the city of Lugano and Lake Lugano, head to the top of the nearby Monte Bré mountain, which can be easily reached by cable car from Cassarate. On Monte Bré you will also find the small charming artists’ village of Bré, which has a very special charm. The medieval-looking village enchants everyone with art objects of the creative inhabitants, which decorate the narrow streets of the village.

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On the shores of the Laggo Maggiore lies the small town of Locarno and the colourful Ascona. A highlight in Locarno is clearly the picturesque Piazza Grande in the centre of the city. In Ascona, the colourful houses and lovingly painted fishing boats directly on the lakeshore are a real eye-catcher.

Tip: Every year in August, Locarno hosts the Locarno Film Festival, one of the oldest film festivals in the world.

From Locarno or Ascona you can reach the beautiful Brissago Islands by boat. Accessible to tourists is the larger Isola San Pancrazio, which is home to a great botanical garden with many plant species from all over the world.

Bellinzona, the capital of Ticino, is underestimated by many. Most tourists stay in Locarno, Ascona or Lugano, but Bellinzona is definitely worth a visit. With its rich historical buildings, the city attracts many enthusiastic cultural travelers every year.

Mendrisiotto – Experience nature in Tuscany in Switzerland

Mendrisiotto, Ticino
The district of Mendrisiotto (Mendrisio), Image: trabantos / shutterstock

A holiday in Ticino should not miss Mendrisiotto, also known as Mendrisio. About 50 km from Milan , the district stretches to the Italian border and offers the best conditions for extended biking and hiking tours with its gentle, green hilly landscapes, vineyards and beautiful nature parks. With around 4,000 hiking trails, every nature lover will get their money’s worth in Ticino.

A special view of the region and the snow-capped mountains of the Alps can be enjoyed from the sun-drenched summit of Monte Generoso. Hikers can climb the summit on foot from the Muggio Valley, from Rovio or Mendrisio. From Capolago it can also be reached by cogwheel railway.

The district of Mendrisiotto includes the largest wine-growing region in Ticino. Wine lovers can admire the landscape on three routes through the vineyards, which were created especially for the centenary of Merlot. In addition to picturesque landscapes, you will find 35 wineries along the way, which invite you to taste wonderfully delicious wines – hiking is particularly fun.

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A visit to the city of Mendrisio, also known as the Mediterranean soul of Switzerland , becomes a real culinary highlight in autumn. Every year in September, the Sagra del Borgo Festival takes place here, a traditional winegrowers’ and popular festival in the heart of the historic city centre. In the old town, you will come across many wine stalls on your way, accompanied by local musicians.

Attention James Bond fans!

Do you also dream of following in the footsteps of James Bond one day? You can do that in Ticino, too. In the Valle Verzasca, brave people can dare to bungee jump from the 220 m high dam into the depths, just like 007 in the movie “Golden Eye”. Whether you want to plunge from one of the highest walls in Europe or just watch the spectacle, a visit to Valle Verzasca is recommended for everyone. In addition to the Centovalli and the Vallemagia, the Valle Verzasca is the most famous and perhaps the most beautiful valley in Ticino.

For adventurous tourists, there is another highlight in Italian-speaking Switzerland. In Curzutt, the 270 m long Tibetan suspension bridge Carasc floats 130 m above the ground, connecting the city of Monte Carasso with Sementina. On the bridge you can enjoy the wonderful view of the Magadino plain.

Ticino has many sights, breathtaking and extraordinarily diverse landscapes and great excursion destinations in store for you.