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…
Top Choice Castle in Bellinzona


Rising dramatically above the Old Town, this medieval stronghold is Bellinzona’s most visible icon. Head up Salita San Michele from Piazza Collegiata, or take the lift, buried deep in the rocky hill in an extraordin…
Top Choice Church in Lugano

Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angioli

This simple Romanesque church contains two frescos by Bernardino Luini dating from 1529. Covering the entire wall that divides the church in two is a grand didactic illustration of the crucifixion of Christ. The pow…
Top Choice Museum in Locarno

Castello Visconteo

Named after the Visconti clan that long ruled Milan, this stout 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 disp…
Top Choice Castle in Bellinzona

Castello di Montebello

On cloudless days, you can see Lago Maggiore from this 13th-century hilltop fortification. The fortress is one of Bellinzona’s most impressive with its drawbridges, ramparts and small museum catapulting you back to …
Top Choice Gardens in Locarno

Giardini Pubblici

Locarno’s climate is perfect for lolling about the lake. Bristling with palms and banana trees, these botanic gardens are a scenic spot for a picnic or swim, and tots can let off steam in the adventure playground.
Top Choice Castle in Bellinzona

Castello di Sasso Corbaro

From central Bellinzona it’s a 3.5km hike south to the Castello di Sasso Corbaro. Perched high on a wooded hillside, the castle is an austere beauty with its impenetrable walls and sturdy towers.
Cathedral in Lugano

Cattedrale di San Lorenzo

Freshly renovated in 2016, Lugano’s early-16th-century cathedral conceals some fine frescoes and ornate baroque statues behind its Renaissance facade. Out front are far-reaching views over the Old Town’s jumble of t…
Area in Locarno

Città Vecchia

Locarno’s Italianate 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.
Historic Site in Locarno

Old Town

Stride out and about the Italianate piazzas and arcades, and admire the Lombard houses. There are some interesting churches. Built in the 17th century, the Chiesa Nuova has a dizzyingly ornate baroque ceiling. Outsi…