Re, on the Italian side, sees a procession of pilgrims on 30 April each year, a tradition that originated when a painting of the Madonna was reported to have started bleeding when struck by a ball in 1480. The bulbous basilica was built in the name of the Madonna del Sangue (Madonna of the Blood) between 1922 and 1950.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ticino attractions

1. Centovalli Railway

0.78 MILES

River deep, mountain high... To see the valley in beautiful slow motion, hop aboard the staggering Centovalli Railway. Departing from Locarno for…

2. Rasa

5.51 MILES

Redolent of a more peaceful bygone age, Rasa is an utterly charming stone village, clinging to high slopes, combed through with neatly tended vegetable…

3. Gresso

7.01 MILES

Dwarfed by the scale of the mountains and forests rising above it, the close-knit hamlet of Gresso, with a population of just 30, is scenically perched at…

4. Orrido di Sant'Anna

7.45 MILES

A narrow steep-sided gorge located 3km from Cannobio. You can drive here, though the best way to come is by taking an easy, partially wooded walking path…

5. Intragna

7.82 MILES

Perching on a rocky ledge at the confluence of the Melezzo and Isorno rivers and looking into a valley bounded by mountain beyond mountain, Intragna has a…

6. Isole di Brissago

8.75 MILES

Marooned in the glimmering waters of Lake Maggiore, this tiny pair of islands is famous for its botanic gardens designed in the 19th century. Magnolias,…

7. Parco Nazionale Val Grande

9.31 MILES

A wooded wilderness set amid a little-visited stretch of the Italian Alps, the Parco Nazionale Val Grande is far removed from the more domesticated beauty…

8. Museo Casa Anatta

10.25 MILES

The late 19th century saw the arrival of ‘back to nature’ utopians, anarchists and sexual libertarians from northern Europe in Ascona. Their aspirations…