Weekend in Ticino

A weekend in Ticino is a journey into a colourful world. Locarno exudes Mediterranean flair at every time of year. However, the city really blossoms in springtime and becomes a truly unique sea of flowers. Not for nothing is it called the floral queen of cities. The gardens and parks are in full blossom and smell like summer, and the sun reflects on the lake, conjuring up diamonds on the water. Spring fever on Lake Maggiore, discover why you should spend a weekend in Ticino.

The Lake Maggiore region is able to enchant its guests and transforms every short holiday into a both relaxing and interesting time in the sunny part of Switzerland. Early spring in Ticino beckons with its warm and sun-filled days and delights with its rich array of activities, sights and opportunities for relaxation.

That first espresso in Locarno is always something special: this is particularly so when sitting under the palm trees and enjoying the view of Lake Maggiore. It takes just a sip to find yourself fully immersed in this Mediterranean oasis of calm. Mediterranean plants such as palms and lemon trees thrive in the heart of the city, lending the place a particular charm.  The sacred mountain of the Madonna del Sasso Orselina enjoys a unique natural setting. The pilgrimage church stands on a spectacular outcrop and towers over Locarno.

The church was founded to commemorate an apparition of the Virgin Mary. From this sacred mountain, visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view of the whole valley with the lake and mountains behind. A small, venerable cog railway carries passengers to the pilgrimage site. The journey is an experience in itself. In addition to the ever-changing view, the jungle-like forest to the left and right is a fascinating sight. If you thought the ascent was beautiful, you’ll find the way down is just as impressive. The descent is definitely worth doing on foot: the cobblestone path of the Via Crucis with its stations and chapels awaits. The Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) leads directly to the old town of Locarno with its narrow, picturesque streets and local shops. All roads lead to the heart of Locarno, the Piazza Grande. This is where the open-air Locarno Film Festival takes place each summer. It is one of the most renowned film festivals and has made the city famous around the world.


“It is quite inspiring to celebrate cinema here, with so many people from so many generations sharing their love for film.”
Hollywood star Ethan Hawke

Just a stone’s throw away from the Piazza Grande is the well-known and much-loved promenade. Take a stroll along the promenade with an ice cream, watch the ships dock and cast off or simply marvel at the colours of the flowers in bloom – it’s all possible here.

The Camellia Park acts as the grand finale to the flower-lined promenade. The park has over 850 different camellia varieties in every imaginable colour. The flowering period of the various exemplars extends over nine months. However, the camellias are at their most impressive in spring. That’s when they bring the magnificent park to life. It is no exaggeration to say that the park is a little slice of paradise. It is waiting to be discovered with all the senses. Visitors can wend their way among the flowers, listen to birds singing or watch the waves on Lake Maggiore. The park is right by the lake. Beach, palm trees and views of the snow-covered mountains in spring. Hard to beat – la dolce vita at its finest. 

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