If you search for canton of Ticino in Switzerland, you will see that the weather here is milder then in the rest of the country. If it rains all over Switzerland, there are high changes that it won’t rain in Ticino. That’s a fact!
So this is exactly what we did on a Saturday in mid October. The weather was so cold and rainy in Zurich, but in Locarno you could enjoy a sunny sky with 20°C – 22°C.
From Zurich you can reach Locarno in about 2 hours and a half by car. We actually made 3 hours because of Gotthard Tunnel(16.9 kilometers length). That area is always so crowded with cars.
And just like magic, when we got out of the tunnel, the weather started to change, the sun came out and we were able to enjoy the warmer temperatures.
Interesting thing to say is that, even if we were still in Switzerand, the main language in canton of Ticino is Italian. Starting from road signs, newspapers, magazines, everyone addresses you in Italian. Even the scenery was so relaxed, felt like you are on a holiday, with palm trees, gelato everywhere, very sunny, very Italian like. Except for the prices, the prices were still swiss :)) Not Zurich area, but still high enough.
First on our list was Locarno, a beautiful town with amazing views over Lake Maggiore at the base of the Alps. We parked the car in city center area and then we enjoyed a nice walk by the lake, passing the beautiful park Parco giochi Al Burbaglio. The city is very clean and it gives you a nice holiday vibe, as if time was standing still.
Madonna del Sasso
If you are still in Locarno area, a visit to Madonna del Sasso is a must. The 15th-century Sanctuary is one of the most important religious and historical sites in the canton of Ticino. There is a cable car that goes from Locarno, directly to the Sanctuary. More details can be found here.
The place is really beautiful and breathtaking once you reach the Sanctuary.
Ascona is another beautiful place to visit at only 2 kilometers from Locarno.
The city has a charming Mediterranean-style architecture and a very glamorous promenade on Lake Maggiore. I think that one of the places that stands up in Ascona at first sight is the 16th-century Church of St. Peter and Paul.
If you are on Lake Maggiore, you cannot miss Cannobio. This little village in Italy will win your heart.
I’ve wrote a separate post about Cannobio here, but for the moment all I can say is that, visiting Cannobio, implied a lot of food, drinking sparkling wine, sipping cappuccino by the lake and indulging with gelato and cannoli 🤩 I’ll just leave these pictures below who speak for themselves:
The last place on our one day journey to Lake Maggiore was Valle Verzasca. And I think we made a mistake.
This place, deserves a whole day not just an hour or two! Wow! How beautiful this valley really is! You got Lavertezzo, Sonogno, Vogorno, Ponte dei Salti, San Bartolomeo and much more. This is why a couple of hours is not enough.
But still, we were really glad we got the chance to see Ponte dei Salti, a medieval bridge made of stone. Such a magnificent place. We cannot wait to go back on a summer day and take a bath in the crystal clear waters of the Verzasca Valley.
Lake Maggiore deserves a couple of days for sure, but I think we did pretty well for one day.
When we returned to Zurich it was still pouring rain :(
Have an amazing day!