Fodor's To Europe!

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Days 3-5

Ticino is Switzerland's Italian region and offers a perfect blend of Italian chic and Swiss quality, along with a Mediterranean climate and plenty of active pursuits. This is the land of verdant mountains, beautiful lakes (Lugano and Maggiore), and charming villages. Spend time exploring Lugano and its surrounding villages.
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  • Art and Culture
  • Natural Beauty
  • Food and Wine


  • Bellinzona, the capital of Ticino, offers a picturesque Old Town and three superbly restored castles. The most striking, Castello di Montebello, contains two museums.
  • Climb one of the three peaks in the Lugano area: Mont Brè, Mont San Salvatore, or Mont Generoso.
  • Lugano is beautiful and sophisticated. Walk along the lake promenade and take your pick of the Museum of Modern Art, the Cantonal Art Museum, or the Belvedere Gardens.
  • Indulge in the local cuisine, which is rustic and hearty. Specialties include osso bucco, polenta, and merlot.

Side Trips

  • Head to the fabled Castagnola parks, a short tram ride east from Lugano, where you'll see olive groves and wild rosemary.
  • Visitors will find Alpine drama and subtropical colors in Isole de Brissago, a group of islands about 50 minutes from Lugano.

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