Ticino – A Swiss Pearl with an Italian Luster
You be excused for not having heard about Ticino. This region is located in the southern Swiss Alps, and you may even think that you have arrived in Italy. Summer holidays in Ticino are as popular as snow holidays in Ticino, and you will soon find yourself falling in love with this vibrant region of Switzerland. With its palm tree lined boulevards, it does not feel Swiss at all, and the cuisine in the area is Italian. But as with anything else in Switzerland, apartments and chalets in Ticino are of high standard, and excellent value for money at the same time.
Ski Resorts and Best Things to See or Do in Ticino
If you have ever visited Ticino during the summer and return winter for a family, you will be surprised how many exciting small resorts can be found in the area. In the summer, they are perfect Alpine villages to enjoy your summer holiday in, but during the winter, they are transformed into ski resorts. You would not think you would be able to fit in so many ski resorts in Ticino, but this is one Swiss canton with a lot to offer.
Ski holidays in Ticino have long been popular with the Swiss, and the 14 resorts available make Ticino a good option for a winter holiday. The resorts are not as touristy as other resorts in Switzerland, and if you are looking to escape from city life, catered ski chalets in Ticino may offer you the perfect antidote to busy city life. Family ski holidays in Ticino do stand a little bit from the rest. One of the advantages, is that this part of Switzerland is a little bit warmer thanks to its southernly orientation. Skiing in Ticino, may be the perfect break for you if you are an independent skier.
Self-Catering Rentals in Ticino During the Winter
Where will you find ski chalets in Ticino? Before you decide to embark on snow holidays in Ticino, it could be a good idea to take a little bit closer look at the resorts themselves. The highest village in Ticino is Bosco Gurin, and during years with good snow cover, the slopes in the village often stay open until the beginning of April. The resort has long been popular with snowboarders, and those who enjoy alpine summer sports. It is not the only village in Ticino which can offer skiing, and may not be suitable for families.
Alpe di Neggia is a better resort for families and has some excellent nursery slopes as well as access to ski tuition. The resort of Cadada can offer you super easy access to slopes and pistes, and it only takes you a few minutes to walk to the nearest ski lift. Mogno is one of the more scenic ski holidays locations in Ticino along with the resort of Cioss Prato – Bedretto. However, there are other resorts suitable for family ski holidays in Ticino. Even though there are not a lot of lifts in the area, you don't have to worry about queues. It seems skiing in Ticino is rather a well-kept secret.
Summer Holiday in Ticino
A summer holiday in Ticino will offer you the best between lakes and mountains. During the summer you can even swim in the glacier lake of Lugano, and the Maggiore lake which Switzerland shares with Italy, becomes hive of activity. When you fancy taking the air on Maggiore, you can always rely on the hop off and on ferry which frequents the lake. It takes you to many of the small towns around the lake. But, you can arrange for more personal tours, and visiting the many small islands in the lake can be arranged through the local tourist office. At the same time, there is still snow on the highest peaks such as Matterhorn, and you can take day trips there enjoy the snow. Don't forget to bring sturdy boots an socks, and your jacket. It can be cold in the summer, and you don't want to miss out on activities such as the ice cave. You may even be able to fit in some summer skiing.
The peaks such as Matterhorn are high at 400 metres and you may even feel that the altitude is affecting you. If you feel dizzy take it a bit slower before you get used to the altitude, and then you can enjoy some of the best views in Europe. If you are looking for serious summer skiing accessible from Ticino, your best would be Zermatt. During the summer, you can still enjoy 25 kilometers and 8 lifts. Summer ski schools are open, and the entire family can brush up on their skiing skills.
Other Summer Activities in Ticino
If you are not a skier, self-catering rentals in Ticino can still make the perfect alternative to more traditional summer holidays. Exploring the wonderful canton of Ticino is one of the things that you can do, and there are plenty of organised tours available. You can also pick up maps at the local tourist office and go for a hike on your own. Adventurous activities include river rafting and paragliding, but if that is not your sort of thing, a little bit of quiet sightseeing maybe better.
What about eating out? The food in the Ticino area of Switzerland is certainly not very Swiss. Instead expect to find typical Italian food with a Swiss touch. Bellinzona is packed with everything from street cafes to top restaurants, and you will not be disappointed in the taste or quality of the food. Chocolate is popular in the rest of Switzerland, but just wait until you discover Italian gelato in Ticino.
Getting to Ticino is not difficult. Milan is only two hours away in a car, and from Switzerland, Ticino can be reached by train from Basel and Zurich. You can also drive from Basel which only takes about three hours, and takes you through a beautiful landscape. Once you have discovered this part of Switzerland, you may in fact want to come back time and time again.