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View on the lake Locarno & Ticino
View on the lake
Locarno & Ticino
At the northern tip of Lake Maggiore in the canton of Ticino, is Locarno, the city with the mildest climate in Switzerland, enjoying 2300 hours of sunshine every year. The "Lady of the Camellias" lures the visitors with its southern charm, Mediterranean climate and sub-tropical vegetation. Often the camellias, mimosa and magnolias begin to bloom here even in February.
You can wander through the narrow alleyways of the Città Vecchia, the Old Town, admire all the bright flower displays in the parks and watch the hustle and bustle on the busy Piazza Grande while you sup a cappuccino - Locarno is above all a city for those who know how to enjoy themselves.
In summer people meet up on the Piazza Grande, especially at open-air concerts and of course during the Film Festival in August, when thousands of visitors come to the square. The Piazza Grande, the heart of the city, is framed by houses with elegant facades, leafy walkways and pavement cafés.
Towering over Locarno is the famous pilgrimage church of Madonna del Sasso. The founding of this holy place dates back to a vision of the Virgin Mary which appeared to a Franciscan monk during the night of 15 August (Feast of the Assumption). From the rocky spur of Orselina there is a fantastic view of the city and the lake with the mountains in the background.
Further up, on Locarno's nearest mountain (1670 m), a cable-car designed by the world-famous architect Mario Botta leads up to Cardada-Cimetta. In summer, Cardada is a popular meeting place for hang-gliders and hikers, while in winter you can even go skiing or sledging.
It is particularly worth a visit to the mighty Castello Visconteo with its impressive tower and the archaeological museum inside the castle walls. It is also worth visiting the ancient churches and noble manor houses in and around Locarno.
Locarno is the ideal starting point for numerous excursions, whether a boat trip on Lake Maggiore or a diversion into the romantic and remote valleys in Locarno's hinterland.
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