Top things to do

Top Choice Fusion in Ascona

Ecco

Super-chic Ecco flaunts two Michelin stars and dining here is an event. Chef Rolf Fliegauf runs the stove and works wonders with carefully selected seasonal ingredients to create dishes that are richly aromatic, edi…
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…
Italian in Locarno

Osteria Chiara

Hidden up a flight of steps, Osteria Chiara has all the cosy feel of a grotto (rustic Ticino-style inn or restaurant). Sit at granite tables beneath the pergola or at timber tables by the fireplace for homemade past…
Italian in Locarno

Locanda Locarnese

Elegant rusticity sums up this smart restaurant, with a beamed ceiling, crisp white tablecloths and an open fire, as well as a smattering of pavement seating. It's a romantic and intimate choice for season-driven di…
Fusion in Locarno

Osteria del Centenario

Down by the lake, this is a top culinary address, turning out creative fusion dishes like pigeon served two ways with green curry and lime, and panna cotta with adzuki beans, matcha-tea sauce and vanilla. Service is…
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…