The cultural events in Locarno, Ascona and the valleys form a dense programme throughout the year, opening in spring with the Camelie Locarno flower festival and reaching its zenith in summer with the Moon&Stars, JazzAscona and Vallemaggia Magic Blues music festivals and the Locarno Film Festival, one of Europe’s four most important film festivals. Featured throughout the year is a wide range of events large and small: from sporting competitions and classical music festivals to traditional celebrations with fireworks, artistic entertainment and music, gastronomic festivals that define the taste of autumn, and the now traditional Locarno on Ice that takes us into the New Year complete with ice rink and fairytale Christmas village.
Cultural events in Ascona-Locarno take place in every season. Enlivening the region’s programme of events are numerous exhibitions, festivals and celebrations. The calendar begins with Carnival – for many pranksters, their favourite event. The entire region is home to some forty carnival traditions, which means there’s something for everyone. That said, the most high-profile carnivals are undoubtedly Locarno’s “La Stranociada” and that of Ascona, with its popular risotto feast on the waterfront. Then, in spring, comes the Camelie Locarno, the queen of the Ticino flower shows. The exhibition and the Camelia Park play host to more than 1000 varieties of camellia during the event. Summer begins colourfully and promises events for every taste: from Ascona’s festival of street artists and Locarno’s all-night “Notte Bianca” [sleepless night!] cultural celebration, to the three major music festivals – JazzAscona, Moon&Stars and Vallemaggia Magic Blues. August is when the most important film festival in Switzerland takes place: the Locarno Film Festival is the only one to screen movies under the stars in the city’s Piazza Grande. Devotees of equestrian events are also catered for. And September is the month for the traditional Ascona Settimane Musicali and the Locarno Triathlon. Autumn offers a host of good reasons for visiting Lake Maggiore, almost all of which taste good – but avid walkers are in for a treat, too. That’s when the region’s at its most colourful, while the sun tempts visitors to explore the valleys and the great outdoors. The main thing is to be out in the fresh air, whether it’s on foot or by bike! The year ends beautifully with Locarno on Ice and its ice rink on the Piazza Grande. But there are far more cultural events than that: the region hosts in excess of 500 events every year. Discover the most popular, save the calendar of events to your favourites and subscribe to the newsletter to make sure you don’t miss anything – and with a little luck you might even win some free tickets.