Lago Maggiore attractions

Top Choice Church in Locarno

Santuario della Madonna del Sasso

Overlooking the town, this sanctuary was built after the Virgin Mary supposedly appeared in a vision to a monk, Bartolomeo d’Ivrea, in 1480. There’s a highly adorned church and several rather rough, near-life-size s…
Museum in Locarno

Castello Visconteo

Named after the Visconti clan that long ruled Milan, this fortified 15th-century castle’s nucleus was raised around the 10th century. It now houses a museum with Roman and Bronze Age exhibits and also hosts a small …
Museum in Ascona

Museo Comunale d’Arte Moderna

Housed in the late-16th-century Palazzo Pancaldi, this museum showcases paintings by artists connected with the town, among them Paul Klee, Ben Nicholson, Alexej von Jawlensky and Hans Arp. But its pride and joy is …
Historic Site in Locarno

Old Town

You can feel just how close you are to Italy when exploring Locarno's hilly Città Vecchia (Old Town), an appealing jumble of piazzas, arcades, churches and tall, shuttered Lombard houses in ice-cream colours. At its…
Island in Ascona

Isole di Brissago

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, orchids, yuccas and agaves are among the 1700 species that flo…
Area in Locarno

Piazza Grande

Locarno’s Italianate Città Vecchia (Old Town) fans out from Piazza Grande, a photogenic ensemble of arcades and Lombard-style houses. A craft and fresh-produce market takes over the square every Thursday, and regula…
Gardens in Locarno

Parco Muralto

Locarno’s climate is perfect for lolling about the lake. Bristling with palms and ablaze with flowers in spring and summer, these gardens are a scenic spot for a picnic or swim, and tots can let off steam in the adv…
Church in Locarno

Chiesa di San Francesco

Standing on the site of a 13th-century Franciscan monastery, the 16th-century Chiesa di San Francesco is adorned with frescoes by Baldassare Orelli. Note the eagle, ox and lamb on the Renaissance facade, symbols tha…
Gallery in Locarno

Pinacoteca Casa Rusca

This gallery occupies a beautifully restored 18th-century townhouse, Casa Rusca. The permanent collection zooms in on 20th century paintings, sculpture and graphic works, and features a sizeable number of originals …
Wildlife Reserve in Locarno

Falconeria Locarno

Time your visit to catch one of the impressive displays of falconry here – they take place at 11am in the morning and 3pm in the afternoon. Birds showing off their skills include eagles, hawks, owls, vultures and st…