When the weather in the North gets unbearable (as in “cold and rainy”), the Swiss will escape to Switzerland’s southern canton of Ticino. Located just south of the Alps but north of Italy, the Ticino is often referred to as “Switzerland’s sun room”.
A few weeks ago, we were seriously getting tired of the cold. So we hopped on a train, crossed through the Alps, and arrived in the Ticino where we spent a fun-filled weekend. If you have ever been there, you would know that there are a gazillion reasons to love Ticino, but here are our personal top 10:
Sun sun sun.
There is a saying that the success of a business depends on “location location location”. Along the same lines, the Ticino scores with sunny weather and southern warmth, which makes us heart it so much.
Ascona. (Need we say more?)
Whether at day or at night, Ascona is sure to wrap you around its little finger with all that Southern charm!
The views at Lake Maggiore.
From Cimetta, the mountain right above Locarno, the view of the lake and surrounding mountains is astonishing! Italy can be seen in the distance.
And the retro boats on Lake Maggiore.
Apparently, the boats on this lake are Italian, which might explain their stylish looks (we consider anything “retro” to be “stylish”)…
Ticino is Little Italy – with Swiss order and punctuality!
La dolc’è vita featuring a reliable, strike-free public transportation system. How can you not love this?
It *is* Italy when you get lost in the mountains!
It’s all fun and games hiking in the green mountains of Ticino until you find that the hiking trails are no longer marked with bright yellow signs! At first, you would simply ignore this and keep on walking until you are surrounded by cars with Italian license plates!
At this point, you try to communicate with a local and get them to give you a lift to the next town 20 minutes away. Then, luck is on your side again as you hire the newsstand owner to give you a ride back to Switzerland!
This has actually happened to us, strange as it sounds! Due to the tricky situation we found ourselves in, we did not even have a chance to dip our feet into nearby Lake Como…
Ticino has the best of Italian style gelati.
Seriously, it’s the best.
In Ascona, you can get unlimited food for under 20 francs!
At Grotto Baldoria in Ascona, there is no menu because the cook decides what you will eat! This may sound scary, but we would skip the posh luxury eateries down at the lake any minute and come back here again. There, CHF 16 might get you a green salad, but at Grotto Baldoria, this amount includes no less than seven courses!
At the end of the night, it felt good to walk back to Hotel Mulino for a few minutes because we were stuffed with salami, salad, pasta, polenta, stew, cheese and apricot pie!
Isole di Brissago are tropical islands just south of Ascona on Lake Maggiore features a magnificent botanical garden.
We could not believe that it’s possible for such a variety of palm trees and tropical plants to thrive in Switzerland! It’s time for a new nickname for Isole di Brissago: Switzerland’s Hawaii!
And the Landscape Promontory
One of my favorite phobia spots described in an earlier post, this suspended viewing platform is truly worth a visit! The view from this hawk’s nest is incredible, and opportunities for cool pictures abound!
For more information on Ticino, visit the official tourism website!