Locarno is located in the Ticino Canton of Switzerland, all the way in the south, near Italy. It’s still mountainous, but it has a much warmer climate than the northern part of Switzerland, where we live. We had a free weekend in the spring, so we headed south to check out where the Swiss speak Italian!
There are three big castles nearby in Bellinzona, Switzerland. We only had time to visit one, and we chose the middle castle, which is Castello di Montebello, which stands about 90 meters above the lower Castellogrande. Built in the 1300s, the castle stands on Montebello Hill, and Lago Maggiore can be seen from it on a clear day. The kids and Penny had a blast running all over the castle grounds, and the views were fantastic.
Locarno itself it quite beautiful. Situated on Lago Maggiore, there are lots of opportunities for swimming, boating, shopping and eating. Oh, Switzerland, you are just…so…beautiful.
Just outside of Locarno, we took the 20 minute drive up into the mountains to visit Lavertezzo, Switzerland. Nestled on the Verzasca River of Ticino, Lavertezzo is home to one of the most beautiful hiking places we’ve ever been: the Ponte di Salti. My French friend Alice had told me about this place and when I tried to describe it to Marc, he said “We could hike anywhere. Why do we need to go out of our way to find this place?” I promised him he wouldn’t be disappointed. He wasn’t. We hiked, played a bit in the water, and just generally marveled at the view. You can swim here in the summer, although I’m not sure how crowded it gets. It does sound tempting, though…maybe another trip?