Ticino rounds out our offerings there perfectly, adding southern flair with its Italian food and language. Its lakeside towns are filled with brightly colored houses, narrow picturesque lanes, and inviting trattorie. The Swiss love this region for its sun and lakeside scenery, and some retire here.
On the shore of Lake Maggiore, our Locarno-based Ticino Untour takes in the best of the Italian Lakes with all the order, sublime scenery, perfect train service, and superlative hiking options you would expect from a Swiss vacation.
So here it is… Our top 11 things to do in Ticino. (Sorry! Too many options to stop at 10.)
- Take the train to Lugano and ride the boat to Gandria, on the north shore of Lake Lugano. The views on your approach are gorgeous.
- Take cable car to Monte Cardada for a grand mountain view and countless hiking possibilities.
- The picturesque town of Bellinzona has no fewer than three castles! Visit them and take in the surrounding walls, and you will understand why UNESCO has designated this a World Heritage Site.
- Walk through the unspoiled Verzasca Valley, where an emerald-green river winds its way through the wild valley, past historic villages. (See photo above,)
- Enjoy an evening performance at the lovely Dimitri Theater in the charming village of Verscio. The theater features two stages, a restaurant, and a museum.
- Take in one of many concerts in our anchor towns of Locarno and Ascona. Catch live jazz, classical music, and local acts in a number of appealing venues.
- Ride the train to visit Lake Como for the day. Legendary for its beauty, Como never fails to please. Don’t forget your passport!
- Explore the many local markets in the region to rub elbows with your neighbors and take in the bounty of fresh food and other goodies.
- Ride the scenic Centovalli train, crossing through the region of the hundred valleys. You’ve never seen views like these.
- Spend the day strolling the narrow lanes of charming Ascona, with its pretty lakefront promenade. Cap your day with dinner by the lake.
- Think big city. Cross the border and visit Milan for the day. If you care to visit Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece Last Supper, be sure to book your reservations in advance.
Special thanks to Francy for her help in compiling this list. She has been one of our Swiss experts-in-residence for over 20 years.
What did we miss? Please add your suggestions in the comments!