Ticino

Ticino - the "Côte d'Azur" of Switzerland
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As soon as travellers reach the southern end of the Gotthard Tunnel, they are in for a surprise. On the north side of the Alps, the sky may have been full of dark clouds, but on the southern side of the mountains the sun shines from a sky that is mostly blue, the climate is mild, palm trees line the roads and, in short, the Mediterranean influence is unmistakable. In Switzerland’s sunniest corner, with over 2300 hours of sunshine a year, everything is just a bit different from anywhere else in Switzerland. If you are looking for typical Swiss dishes here, you'll be unlucky. Instead of "rösti", there is fine risotto, and when it comes to drinks, in the south of Switzerland the local red wine "Merlot del Ticino" is always at the top of the menu.

However, Ticino has far more to offer than "just" a southern atmosphere! Beautiful valleys and gorges, the splendour of which will take your breath away, with one of the most impressive certainly being the Verzasca valley and the dam wall, made famous by  Pierce Brosnan's bungee jump in the James Bond classic film "Goldeneye. No-one can fail to be impressed by the beauty of the wild and romantic scenery as they walk through the Maggia valley, and you'll find an astonishing array of flora and fauna here. Alpine tours that begin in the snow end in vast chestnut forests; while gentians bloom on the alpine meadows, along the lakeside promenades you can admire camellias.

If you don't feel like fine dining, window-shopping or bathing, Ticino also offers lots of options for cultural activities. There are museums full of ancient cultural treasures, and contemporary masterpieces such as the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli on Monte Tamaro and the Battista San Giovanni in Mogno, both designed by Switzerland's most famous architect, Mario Botta.

Allow yourself to be seduced by the whole experience of Ticino, the contrasts between the mountain and the plain, nature and culture, the past and the present …