Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

The canton of Ticino is the southern most canton in Switzerland, bordering Italy. It is Italian-speaking (the only canton with Italian as the sole official language!) and, as you’ll see in the photos below, has a large Italian influence and feel. As someone who very deeply loves both Switzerland and Italy, it is a place high on my list to visit!

Evening view from Monte Bre (925 m) of Lugano and the San Salvatore (912 m). Copyright by: Switzerland Tourism

Earlier this year I was invited to an event in San Francisco by my friends at Switzerland Tourism. During the event, a representative from Ticino talked a bit about it and I couldn’t believe how similar it looked to Italy. I had never heard of Ticino prior.

View on Mount San Giorgio, UNESCO World Heritage site. Copyright by Ticino Turismo

Ticino Switzerland has a very Mediterranean vibe, with beautiful beaches, palm trees, and sparkling blue waters. Similar to Italy, you’ll also often find charming alleyways, piazzas, churches and a mixture of city and country — something for everyone!

Canton Ticino. San Carlo di Negrentino, view across the Bleniotal. Copyright by: Switzerland Tourism

Since then I’ve been thinking about visiting, so I did some poking around the Switzerland Tourism site, researching all of the different places I’d like to visit. If you too would like to explore something a little more off-the-beaten path in Switzerland, here are X places to visit in Ticino, Switzerland.

Malcantone, the gently curving, densely overgrown, domed hilly landscape, that curves up from Lake Lugano to Monte Lema, derived its livelihood for centuries mainly from one product: the chestnut.

Bellinzona by night, Canton Ticino. The Montebello castle is part of the extensive fortifications originating from the 12th to the 15th centuries.

Visit of the Castelgrande, UNESCO World Heritage. Copyright by Ticino Turismo

View from the castle Castelgrande on the old town of Bellinzona. Copyright by: Switzerland Tourism


Bellinzona is the capital of Ticino Switzerland. It is home to not one, not two, but *three* medieval castles — Castelgrande, Montebello, and Sasso Corbaro. They are said to be some of the most well preserved in all of Switzerland.

Historic bridge in Puntid, Bavona valley, Cevio. Copyright by: Switzerland Tourism


Cevio is a tiny town in Ticino which made my list solely for the above historic bridge photo

UNESCO World Heritage Monte San Giorgio in Ticino. View from Monte San Giorgio towards Lugano, Monte San Salvatore on the left, Monte Bre on the right.

Morning mood with boat at the Lake Lugano, Morcote. Copyright by: Switzerland Tourism


Lugano is a city situated on the northern shore of Lake Lugano. It is the largest town in Ticino yet has, my favorite, a car-free historic town centre!

Monte Bre is a funicular away from Lugano, offering panoramic views of the town, the lake, the mountains, and Italy. Monte San Salvatore can also be reached by funicular and has a panoramic footpath with breathtaking views.

In Lugano itself, don’t miss Parco Civico Ciani, a tranquil park, San Lorenzo Cathedral, or Church of Santa Maria degli Angioli.

Small harbor with colorful row of houses on Lake Maggiore, Gerra (Gambarogno). Copyright by: Switzerland Tourism


The “Riviera del Gambarogna” sits between Lake Maggiore and the mountains, offering breathtaking views. It has two hundred km of hiking trails and a magnificent botanical garden, the Botanical Garden of Gambarogno.

in addition to hiking, there are yoga trails, bike trails, and more.

Spring awakening in Intragna, Ticino. Intragna is located on the Centovalli railway, which has a great tourist importance.


Intragna is the capital of Centovalli, which means “Hundred Valleys”. The entire Centovalli is great for hiking,

Don’t miss the San Gottardo Church whose tower is the highest in Ticino. It dates back to 1722 and is a major attraction in Intragna, located in the heart of the city.

Evening at the lake promenade, Ascona. Copyright by: Switzerland Tourism

Hotel guests at the morning stand up paddling on lake Maggiore. Copyright by: Switzerland Tourism View from the port with the wintry Gridone in the background, Ascona. Copyright by: Switzerland Tourism


Ascona is often called the pearl of Lake Maggiore and it happens to be the spot that made me fall in love with Ticino in the first place! It is situated directly on the lake with a beautiful promenade, colorful houses, and tall palm trees.

Lake promenade in Brissago. Copyright by Ticino Turismo

The, for Switzerland, unique mild climate on Lake Maggiore can thrive subtropical plants in the open air on the Brissago islands. Copyright by: Switzerland Tourism


Brissago is a picturesque town on the shores of Lake Maggiore. There are also two Brissago Islands on Lake Maggiore, home to the Botanical Garden of Canton Ticino, the only botanical garden on an island in Switzerland! It houses 1,700 plant species on it.

Campora in the Valle di Muggio, Switzerland's southernmost valley, Canton Ticino. Copyright by: Switzerland Tourism


The Muggio Valley is a collection of nine peaceful and quiet villages. In 2014 it was recognized as Switzerland’s most beautiful landscape by the foundation for landscape conversation.

Corippo in the Versasca Valley, one of the most picturesque villages in the Ticino. Copyright by: Switzerland Tourism


Corippo is so small it has just 14 residents! It is the smallest in Switzerland and said to be one of the most picturesque in Ticino. The houses are all built from local Ticino granite and slate roofs, making them all beautifully uniform.

The remarkable Walser village of Bosco Gurin is the highest situated village in the canton of Ticino. Copyright by: Switzerland Tourism

Bosco Gurin, an old Walser settlement in a side valley of Valle Maggia in Canton Ticino. Copyright by: Switzerland Tourism


Bosco/Gurin is another incredibly small village, with a population of just 55. Despite Italian being in the official language of Ticino, Bosco/Gurin has historically been German-speaking!

The church tower of St. Anne in Rasa in the Centovalli. Rasa is one of the smallest municipalities in Ticino. Only about 20 people live here year round. Copyright by: Switzerland Tourism


A very small car-free village in Centovalli Valley. You can arrive by foot from Palagnedra, Ronco, and Intragna via the Roman Bridge or from Corcapolo via the bridge of Salmina.

Malcantone, the gently curving, densely overgrown, domed hilly landscape, that curves up from Lake Lugano to Monte Lema, derived its livelihood for centuries mainly from one product: the chestnut.

Malcantone, the gently curving, densely overgrown, domed hilly landscape, that curves up from Lake Lugano to Monte Lema, derived its livelihood for centuries mainly from one product: the chestnut.


Yet another beautiful and very small village in Ticino that made my list solely for the beautiful photos above


By Liga