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A view of a piazza and the three castles beyond

Bellinzona is a city in Switzerland.

Get in[edit]

Motorways A2 and A13 are the main roads connecting the city. The A2 heads north through the Gotthard Pass to Lucerne, Basel and over the border with Germany, as well as south towards Lugano and on to Italy. The A13 heads north-east towards Austria, passing the San Bernardino pass and Chur.

Bellinzona is also conveniently connected by the Gotthard railway, and is a standard stop for many intercity trains between Zurich, Lugano, Chiasso and Locarno. Regional services here are operated b TiLo and connect the town to the nearest airport (Malpensa), as well as to Biasca and many other destinations.

Plenty of bus services can be found at the train station. They're operated by PostBus Switzerland and offer alternative ways to travel to a range of destinations in the region.

Get around[edit]

See[edit]

In 2000, the Castles of Bellinzona were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

  •   Castello di Sasso Corbaro (Sasso Corbaro Castle) (postal bus #4 from the train station (Piazzale Stazione), direction Artore (schedules)),  +41 (0)91 825 59 06. Jul-Aug dialy 10.00 - 19.00; Apr-Jun, Sep-Oct daily 10.00 - 18.00. The castle dominates the town 462 meters up the hill. It was built in only six months in 1479 as the highest fortification in Bellinzona.
  •   Castello di Montebello (Montebello Castle) (a few hundred metres SW from the train station via Piazza della Collegiata; alternatively descend by road from Sasso Corbaro),  +41 (0)91 825 13 42. Jul-Aug dialy 10.00 - 19.00, museum 10.00 - 18.00; Apr-Jun, Sep-Oct daily 10.00 - 18.00. the most picturesque of the three. Probably built in the 13th century and restored in the 1970s, the Montebello Castle is a spectacular example of a medieval castle and houses a very interesting civic and archeological Museum. CHF 5, combined 3 castles CHF 15.
  •   Castelgrande (from Piazza della Collegiata; from here follow the San Michele path up),  +41 (0)91 825 81 45. Museum: Jul-Aug dialy 10.00 - 19.00; Apr-Jun, Sep-Oct daily 10.00 - 18.00; Nov-Mar daily 10.00 - 16.00. Inner court: Tue-Sun 09.00 - 22.00, Mon 10.00 - 18.00; Murata sforzesca: Summer 10.00 - 19.00, Winter 10.00 - 17.00. remodeled in the last years by Aurelio Galfetti with bold architectural solutions, among which the elevator in the rock and the helicoidal ramp to reach the summit directly from the Piazza Mario della Valle. There is a historical Museum in one wing of the castle with an architectural section as well as an artistic-historical one. In the south building there is an elegant restaurant with its annexed wine cellar where almost all of Ticino's wine production can be tasted.

From Castelgrande follow the wall, also restored, which once went all the way to the Ticino River. A footbridge crosses the part, which was knocked down to allow transit on the Viale Portone. The view from the wall sweeps over the very modern buildings, the pride of Ticino's architects (Casa del Portone, Casa Bianca, Casa Nera, Casa Fabrizia) with the green background of the Sports Center with its public pool and tennis courts on the river's edge. From the walkway return to the station either through Città Vecchia from via Orico, or following the Viale Portone or via Mirasole.

Do[edit]

  •   Lido di Arbedo (beach bar on the Ticino River), Castione-Arbedo (go north along the Via San Gottardo. Just before you get to the Highway exit Bellinzona Nord, on your left hand side, there is a stair leading down to a parking with signs to the beach and it's bar.). estimated: Mon - Wed:12:00 - 18:00; Thu:10:00 - 22:00; Fri - Sat: 12:00 - 03:00; Sun:10:00 - 01:00. Beach bar, where the Moesa river from Graubünden joins the Ticino River, which gave the canton it's name. Only open in Summer. Drinks, music, possibility to barbecue and swim. Beware of the strong current and the cold water. free.

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

  • GiardinoVia Orico (On the corner of Piazza Governo, South West (or left turn) down Viale Stazione from the main train station.). Hidden ristorante/pizzeria frequented by locals offering good quality medium-priced Italian cooking only 7 minutes walk from the main train station.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Go next[edit]

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