Switzerland
Ticino

Here you’ll find travel reports about Ticino. Discover travel destinations in Switzerland of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

104 travelers at this place:

  • Day93

    Lugano Switzerland

    September 7, 2017 in Switzerland

    The border crossing into Switzerland was a non-event - almost missed it! Lugano is our home for the next two nights. It is in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino. The 9th largest Swiss city, it is the largest in Ticino and largest with an Italian speaking majority outside Italy. The city lies on Lake Lugano, a glacial lake. We walked part of the lake today from the old city through to Parco Ciani, a beautiful tranquil park by the lake with great views of the city, Monte Brè, Monte San Salvatore and Campione d'italia. We then caught the funicular up to Monte Brè - 933m above sea level. Lovely views back down to the lake.Read more

  • Day27

    Mittagessen im Ikea

    September 12 in Switzerland

    Nachdem wir schon einige Kilometer gefahren sind und mittlerweile die Schweizer Grenze überquert haben war es Zeit zum Mittagessen. Zufälligerweise sind wir an einem Einkaufszentrum mit Ikea vorbei gefahren und haben uns entschlossen unser Mittagessen hier einzunehmen. Nun sind wir gesättigt...nur noch der Kuchen muss verzehrt werden.

    Danach geht's weiter...
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  • Day198

    Day 199: Bellinzona

    September 1, 2017 in Switzerland

    Had our first hotel breakfast in ages this morning, as it was being offered for 3 euros/head - an absolute bargain! Lots of great food, and excellent value for money. You can really tell we're not in Switzerland any more! Checked out and walked down the street to pick up our hire car during a heavy rainstorm, got a bit soaked but oh well.

    Headed north out of Como and almost immediately crossed back into Switzerland, heading for our destination for the day - Bellinzona. This is a small Swiss city that sits across an historically important trading route through the Alps. It's UNESCO world heritage listed because there's three castles and a large wall going essentially across the entire valley, blocking the way.

    The locals in this area basically couldn't grow crops or raise livestock, and there aren't any natural resources either - so they built a few tollbooth castles and a big wall, and charged money for people to move through! Fairly ingenious idea I think!

    We started at the newest castle, high up on the hill. Parked the car and had a look around, with great views across the valley. This one had been fixed up quite a lot, and now featured an exhibition about the pass and its importance to the area. It also focused on the roads and rail routes, all of which we'd bypassed yesterday while submerged in the train tunnel!

    Back to the car where we drove down to the second castle, the largest and most impressive though still not the oldest. Had a good look around here as there was quite a bit to see, and plenty of the old wall remaining as well. Thankfully the weather was gradually clearing so we even got some sun!

    Decided to leave the car at this one and walk down to the third castle just on the other side of town - it looked like a pain in the neck to park down there, and we decided to risk bringing Schnitzel with us (though realistically it was too hot for him in the car).

    Quite a steep walk down, and we stopped partway at the supermarket to grab some sandwiches. It's a very strange town - everyone speaks and acts Italian, though you're still in Switzerland and paying Swiss prices for things.

    The third castle, despite being the oldest, was actually slightly uninteresting. Most of the buildings had been remodelled or updated and didn't feel particularly old, though the towers still extant on the walls were cool and afforded good views of the town. By now it had clouded over again and a thunderstorm felt imminent, so we headed back down into the town and holed up at a cafe.

    We waited for close to an hour but the thunderstorm never materialised, and neither really did the rain! Lucky us. Long walk back up the hill to the car, but we made it eventually. Although the trip here had only taken us 70 minutes from Como, Google was now saying the drive to our new Airbnb was about 2 hours 20 minutes - lots of traffic! Apparently Friday nights heading from Switzerland to Italy are notoriously bad for traffic, information that would've been useful a bit earlier!

    So our poor Airbnb host had to wait ages for us, though we kept her updated on progress, eventually arriving just after 7. We're in the little village of Pognana Lario, about 20 minutes drive north of Como - directly across the lake from George Clooney's house, we'd later discover. Although it's a nice place, quite large and with excellent views, it's over a hundred steps up from the road, quite steep, and very exhausting. The neighbours' dogs are also very enthusiastic about barking at you, and of course Schnitzel is just as enthusiastic about defending himself and his family.

    Finally made it up and settled in, before we realised we had no food! Which meant we had to tackle the stairs all the way back down to the road where there was a pizzeria. Tasty food, and we were able to sit at the balcony doors watching a storm roll across the lake. Only hiccup was that they didn't take card and we didn't have cash! So off to the kitchen for us - not really, they said we could come back tomorrow which was fantastic news.

    Trudged up the hill again for an exhausting 10 minutes, but survived. Thunderstorm threatened again but never quite made it over to us.
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  • Day199

    Day 200: Triple World Heritage

    September 2, 2017 in Switzerland

    Super busy day today, as we wanted to knock out three separate world heritage sites! First problem was that we were perched in our mountain home, 10 minutes from the car and with no breakfast! So we wandered down, hopped in the car and then drove the 20 minutes back to Como, stopping along the way to pick up some cash and some supermarket croissants for breakfast.

    Now we headed west, still in Italy, heading for the first site. This one is part of a multi-country listing covering the Longobard period of Italian history - essentially they were a Germanic tribe who occupied northern Italy after the fall of the Roman empire, but before the time of Charlemagne (approx 450-800AD, ish). They left behind quite a cultural legacy, and a few of these are highlighted on the WH list, so we headed to this one.

    Listed here was a small chapel, from around the 800s, the interior still covered in frescoes of that era. They were actually really beautiful and interesting, since they'd been done in a Byzantine style rather than a Western one that would look more familiar. Definitely all the usual Biblical stories and fables though. Very well preserved, though they'd been hidden underneath plaster for most of their existence. Funny as well that they were just sitting in a church in essentially an open clearing of forest, only one employee around! No intricate airlocks or complicated systems of humidity and temperature control like in other (more recent) frescoes we've seen.

    Onwards we drove in heavy rain to the town of Varese, where a new site awaited: one of the Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy. Sacri Monti are literally "sacred mountains", and they're a product of Renaissance era thought. Since at this time the Holy Land was owned by Muslims, pilgrimages were very dangerous. So instead, they would take existing mountain-top sanctuaries and shrines outside towns, and create pilgrimage paths up to them, so that locals could go on a mini "pilgrimage" to the top of the mountain.

    Lucky for us we could just drive to the top, though this one had a small community in addition to the sanctuary so it was difficult for us to get a decent idea of what the listing was really all about. It was still raining steadily as well, so neither of us particularly felt like braving more than a little of the path back down. A bit of a let-down here, but we're checking out another one in a few days so hopefully it'll be better.

    Back to the car, now mid-afternoon, where we headed for the last stop: Monte San Giorgio. Thankfully this was a single-entry site! It's a large mountain just over the Swiss border, surrounded on three sides by a glacial lake. And because of the way the mountain has formed, it's an extraordinarily rich fossil bed - one of the richest in the world. And what's really cool is that unlike most fossil deposit sites, where it's just a single layer, this has multiple layers spread over several million years, so you can really see how creatures developed in the same area.

    We spent about 90 minutes in the museum nearby, as it's still quite a trek out to the mountain and not one we were keen to attempt in the rain. Lots of different fossil examples which is really cool - not just small organisms but all kinds: fish, mammals, lizards, vertebrates, invertebrates, even some plants as well. Museum was quite well done too which helped.

    Finally done for the day, we drove back to Como and visited the supermarket to stock up for the next few days. Although it's Italy now and we can afford to eat out again, it's a bloody long walk down from the house and neither of us are super inclined to do it more than we need to! Best part of shopping was picking out pasta - lots of different options in the fresh pasta section, including a crab one that we went with!

    Back home where we remembered to pay our bill from last night, then traipse back up the hill to settle in for the night.
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  • Day50

    Gotthard Pass to Claro.

    July 17, 2017 in Switzerland

    Wow, what a ride. Among our best ever.
    Today's ride included almost every cycling condition I can think of, with the exception of rain - climbing & descending, bitumen, 12km of cobblestones -3 up & 9 down, gravel and one-track, busy traffic, no traffic, headwinds, crosswinds and even briefly a tailwind.
    It was the highest altitude we've ever ridden at and the biggest descent we've ever done. We dropped about 1850mts in height today. And the road has to be seen to be believed. Most of the descent was on cobblestones. Thank heavens we were on touring bikes and not road bikes like some. Everyone was taking it slow and careful, even the smattering of motor bikes making the descent.
    After we reached Airolo, the descent was a gentle downhill, alongside the most picturesque mountain steam, for the rest of the day.
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  • Day34

    Grüezi Schweiz!

    July 3 in Switzerland

    Unsere Route für die Rückreise haben wir entgegen der vorigen Planung durch die Schweiz gelegt.

    Sofort nach der Grenze fällt die Sauberkeit und Ordnung rundherum auf.
    Allerdings haben die Schweizer extrem muffelige Zöllner. Klas hatte sich wegen einer eventuellen Maut schlau gemacht und wusste daher, dass er eine Vignette brauch. Hast du keine und wirst angehalten, kostet es ordentlich!

    Die gelangweilten Zöllner haben uns nur unwirsch durchgewunken. Wir haben dann aber noch mal gehalten und eine Vignette gekauft.

    Besser is..
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  • Day30

    Pause am Fluss

    July 19 in Switzerland

    Umzugstag
    Am Vormittag haben wir das vorletzte Mal alles zusammen gepackt. Nach dem Abbau mussten wir noch einen Großeinkauf in Italien erledigen, ehe es wieder in die teure Schweiz geht. Die Fahrt führte uns am Ufer des Lago Maggiore entlang und wir konnten die Aussicht auf den See genießen. Nachdem wir die ersten Kilometer auf der Autobahn hinter uns gebracht haben, haben wir eine schöne Pause an einem Fluss gemacht.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Ticino, Tessin, Cantón do Tesino, كانتون تيسينو, Tiçino, Кантон Тычына, Тичино, Kanton Ticino, Cantó de Ticino, Kantono Tiĉino, Tesino, Ticino kanton, کانتون تیچینو, טיצינו, तिचीनो कैन्टन, Տիչինո, ティチーノ州, ტიჩინოს კანტონი, 티치노 주, Ticinum, Canton Tesin, Tičinas, Tičīno kantons, ടിച്ചീനോ, तिचिनो, Ticino Chiu, Canton de Tecin, ٹیسینو, Cantonul Ticino, Ticinu, Kantoni Ticino, Кантон Тичино, รัฐทีชีโน, Тічино, تیچینو, Canton Tisin, 提契諾州

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