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Aerial view of Lake Lugano

Ticino is an Italian-speaking region in Switzerland. It is in the south of the country bordering Valais, Uri, Graubünden and the north of Italy.


Map of Ticino
Map of Ticino

  • 1 Ascona — known sometimes as the Swiss Riviera
  • 2 Bellinzona — the capital of the canton
  • 3 Chiasso Chiasso on Wikipedia — is the southernmost town in Switzerland, it is surrounded on three sides by Italy
  • 4 Locarno — is the town at the shore of Lago Maggiore
  • 5 Lugano — is the largest city in the canton, it is located on the shore of the homonymous lake. There is a pleasant waterfront there, stunning lake views and steep hillsides.
  • 6 Mendrisio Mendrisio on Wikipedia
  • 7 Tenero

Other destinations




Public holidays


These are the public holidays in addition to those observed in the whole of Switzerland:

  • Epiphany (6 January)
  • St Joseph's Day (19 March)
  • Labour Day (1 May)
  • Corpus Christi (60 days after Easter)
  • Saints Peter and Paul (29 June)
  • Assumption (15 August)
  • All Saints Day (1 November)
  • Immaculate Conception (8 December)

Get in


By plane


Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP IATA) is connected to Ticino by a cross-border commuter rail network.

By train


The area is served by the Swiss Federal Railways with all connections from the north passing through the Gotthard massif and hence significantly improved with the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel.

Get around



View from Monte San Giorgio to the north
  • 1 [dead link] Museum of fossils from Monte San Giorgio, Via Bernardo Peyer 9, 6866 Meride, +41 91 640 00 80. Tu-Su 09:00 – 17:00. Monte San Giorgio is a mountain at the Italian border inscribed at the UNESCO World Heritage List for it "is the single best-known record of marine life in the Triassic period, and records important remains of life on land as well." The museum displays a collection of fossilised animals and plants from this region. Fr. 12.
  • Go to Melide to visit Swissminiatur where a lot of Switzerland's sights are replicated as models.





Ticino has some of the most scenic hiking trails in whole Switzerland. Below is a selection:

  • Crest hike Monte Tamaro–Monte Lema
  • Hike down the Verzasca valley
  • Greina Walking Tour from Campo Blenio in Tre Valles to Vrin in Val Lumnezia of the neighbouring canton Grischun (Graubünden)



There are numerous delicatessen specialties (such as boiled luganighe, typical with carnival risotto, grilled luganighetta); polenta (both yellow and gray) cooked on the fire, with cheese, milk or meat (stew, rabbit, stew, etc.); baked kid, especially at Easter; in the grottoes one can still find good soaked fish; game in autumn, especially salmì and saddle of roe deer.

Among the desserts, we note the panettone (a tradition shared with Milan), the amaretti (excellent those with kirsch) and some regional specialties, especially biscuits.

A list of Ticino's culinary heritage can be found here.



In the Locarno area, a region with a tourist vocation, there are numerous restaurants and grottos of undoubted interest. The advice is to avoid the more touristy ones to let yourself be seduced by the proposals, perhaps on a smaller card, but certainly fascinating. All restaurants have been tried between July 2020 and June 2021).

Here are just a few addresses that may be of interest:

In Locarno the Locanda Locarnese or the Bistrot Latino, both located in the old town, which offer a menu that is always varied and in season (medium-high prices); for those who love something different, for example, there is the Balena restaurant, a boat moored at the port.

In Valle Maggia and Centovalli there are numerous grottos and restaurants with tempting proposals and still firmly anchored to Ticino cuisine. Here are some of them: in Ponte Brolla the Centovalli restaurant: offers only ravioli or risotto with gorgonzola and porcini mushrooms, and grilled fillets and entrecote (but the risotto is worth it); in Avegno, the Mai Morire grotto, with grill and Ticino dishes (not to be missed are the ribs at will).



In Monte Carasso the Romitaggio restaurant: generous portions, excellent cuisine, and in particular fish, their specialty.

In Bellinzona the Malakov restaurant, a rather special place (small, book otherwise there is no place) run by Calabrians; you eat excellent pasta, even in numerous small portions.

In Airolo, at the foot of the San Gottardo, it is worth having dinner one evening, perhaps not in the summer, at the Gottardo Dairy, which in particular offers excellent cold cuts and cheese specialties, such as fondue and raclette.

In the Morobbia valley, in Scarpapé, the homonymous grotto-restaurant offers a simple menu (cold cuts, polenta, braised meats, rabbit and some grilled meats) with a spectacular view of the Magadino plain and Lake Maggiore; suitable for families, due to the presence of a beautiful lawn with playground.



Albergo Della Posta in Novaggio where you can taste the largest Cordon Bleau in the Canton

Grotto Lema in Novaggio, offers themed evenings (marmot, polenta and usei, ..) and Ticino specialties; simple but very familiar



Typical of Ticino is the ratafià, a walnut liqueur, which seems to have been created by the friars of the Bigorio convent, and which they offered to travelers and especially to those who gathered there to make important decisions: at the end of the meeting, to celebrate the pact, they toasted with this liqueur, which sealed the pact reached (rata fiat).

Grappa is also very popular, in particular that of American grapes.

Merlot is a wine that has reached levels of vinification and quality that have nothing to envy with other international wines. There are numerous producers, who offer red, reserve and barrique, as well as some merlot whites.

A non-alcoholic specialty is gazzosa (or gaseous), a sweet drink, available in different flavours (lemon, mandarin, raspberry).



Ticino has a full range of accommodations including hotels, holiday houses, hostels, huts, campsites and agritourism stays.


This region travel guide to Ticino is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!