Yes, Switzerland has mountains. And cows. And chocolate. But it also has something else, that is lesser-known: a little bit of Italy! Switzerland is composed of 26 cantons (like provinces or states), most of which are German-speaking (swiss german, that is), some of which are French-speaking, but only ONE of which is solely Italian-speaking. That is the canton of Ticino (or Tessin, in French). I have had the fortune of visiting this beautiful canton twice, and I would jump at the chance to go again. It is a wonderful combination of Italy and Switzerland – mountains, delicious food, warm weather, palm trees (!), and just all-round gorgeous. As my descriptions clearly fall short, I will let the photos speak for themselves:
A sidewalk terrace in Locarno, Switzerland.
Polenta, being cooked outside in a big copper pot. I had mine with Gorgonzola cheese – mmm!
Flora from one of the Islands of Brissago near Ascona, Switzerland. Take the local ferry to get there! Here is a particularly interesting flower I saw:
The view of Lago Maggiore and the Alps (from Locarno) – does it get any better?
Waiting for the ferry (to go to Ascona)…
I ate that delicious polenta with this superb view – no wonder it was so good!
A little local culture – there was a Rolls Royce club meeting while we were there.
Another shot of lovely Ascona, Switzerland.
You need to take a short funicular ride above Locarno to see this monastery – well worth it!
On the way to the Val Verzasca for a hike, we stopped at this huge dam, and yes, it was used in the James Bond film Golden-Eye! (Apparently – haven’t seen it…) If you are a thrill-seeker, you can bungee jump off the dam…
This is a photo from our hike down the valley of Verzasca – this was a fantastic hike. We took a bus up the valley and then hiked back down.
The aqua colour of the River Verzasca – it’s as chilly as it looks!
As you can see there is a lot to be seen in Ticino, Switzerland. Go explore!