If ever there was a prize for the ‘most perfect lake town’, Ascona would surely win hands-down. Palm trees and pristine houses in a fresco painter’s palette of pastels line the promenade, overlooking the glassy waters of Lake Maggiore to the rugged green mountains beyond. Michelin-starred restaurants, an 18-hole golf course and the Old Town’s boutiques, galleries and antique shops attract a good-living, big-spending crowd.