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Ticino: Anyone stayed at Lugano or Locarno/Ascona?

Ticino: Anyone stayed at Lugano or Locarno/Ascona?

Mar 24th, 2001, 06:32 PM
Jay P.
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Ticino: Anyone stayed at Lugano or Locarno/Ascona?

Need anyone who's been there to advise which city is the most scenic & offers the most activities....hotel recommendations also appreciated. Traveling in May....
Mar 24th, 2001, 10:42 PM
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I have stayed a couple of times in Lugano, and visited Locarno. Both are fairly quiet lakeside resorts, almost gentile in a way, although Lugano is much bigger, a small city really.
Neither town is as spectacular as some of the Swiss Alpine resorts, but nevertheless they are pleasant, and do provide some activities. Lugano offers lake cruises, or just ferry rides, which are well worth taking, some hiking, and funicular rides with great views from the top. It is also very close for a half day trip into Italy on Lake Como. Lugano also has some attractive shopping/market areas.
Locarno is basically the same on a smaller scale.
In Lugano I stayed at the Hotel du Lac, which as the name implies is right on the Lake, with stunning views from the rooms. It is a good quality three star, less than $US100 per room per night, but about 10 minutes walk along the lake from the town centre. Less than 10 minutes in a cab from the station.
I don't think either town justifies more than a 2 night stay - maybe 3 depending on your interests.
I noticed that you are travelling in May. Because they are south of the Alps they will ne noticeably warmer in May, although not hot.
Mar 25th, 2001, 01:35 AM
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We have relatives living in the Ticino and the scenery can be as beautiful as anywhere in Switzerland if you're in the right spot.
If you have a car, I recommend NOT staying in Lugano or Locarno, but rather in one of the smaller outlying towns. We stay at the Hotel Parco Lago in Caslano. The hotel (about $100 per night) has large rooms with well equipped kitchenettes, balconies overlooking lake Lugano, free parking, etc. Good breakfast is included. The hotel also has its own small park and private beach (although I guess the water would be too cold for swimming in May).
Drive into Bellinzona and go up to the highest of the town's three castles. It will be quiet and serene and you will have a terrific view. The largest of the three hosts outdoor opera performances (this year it's Aida) but I think the season doesn't start until June.
Take the three hour cruise around lake Lugano during the day and/or the night cruise. Walk through the city park. Surprisingly, the Movenpick restaurant actually has good food, especially the risotto al funghi. There's a villa in Lugano that has been turned into a small museum. It used to have some world-class masterpieces, but they've been moved to Spain. Nonetheless, it has an interesting collection.
Biking around Caslano is a nice way to spend a pleasant, sunny afternoon. You can try your hand at the Lugano casino at night.
Mar 25th, 2001, 10:09 AM
Richard J Vicek
Posts: n/a
Good afternoon, Jay P
Have used Lugano for short stopover going from Luzern to Venice. Have found it a vert interesting town, great
ristorantes and hotel (LUGANO DANTE).,
has access to a very nice lake with
boats, etc. Some hotels have their own
swimming beaches. The old town area,
the lower area of town is very good
with nite life, and it is easy to reach
a funicular runs from the railway station down to the old lower town,
many hotels and ristorantes in this
area. The Casino is certainly inteesting, tho did not have much luck
on the last visit...
Richard of La Grange Park, Il..
Mar 25th, 2001, 10:44 AM
Posts: n/a
We stayed in Locarno this past July for four nights. It was not a place that we would reccomend. We found the locals not very willing to speak english and their are no english speaking tours available. our hotel was a rat hole and was $250.00 per night. The hotel escapes my memory(I wonder why)but it was the most economical one listed in Karen browns book .Do not stay on the main strip,as it is very noisy.The open cafes have a massive amount of birds flying on to the tables and splatting bird poop all over the tables! This problem existed at all the outside eaterys.The shopping was way overpriced and the food was nothing to brag about. The best part was taking the ferry to the italian Islands .We went to the Island of Madre and Isala Bella. Very beautiful ,great food and great prices on shopping. We visited Ascona and it was very lovely. Much nicer than Locarno.In July Ascona has a great Jazz festival, well worth going to. The shopping is nice and the town is much more Classier than Locarno. Hope this helps
Mar 25th, 2001, 11:43 AM
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Jay P. hello! In Lugano I stayed several times at the Hotel Dante for business which is in the very center of Lugano so very convenient. As people stay up late at night, it might be little loud if windows are open.
If I would go for pleasure, I would most definitely stay at the Du Lac right on the Lake.
There is also an outstanding place The Villa Principe Leopoldo (Relais&Châteaux) . But it's a bit inconvenient without a car. But nice for dinner at night.
In Ascona, the Castello del Sole is outstanding.
Mar 26th, 2001, 04:14 PM
Jay P.
Posts: n/a

Thanks everyone for the great information! Some of the best responses I've seen on this site.
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