THE HIDDEN SWISS JEWEL

Imagine the magnificent alpine landscapes and picturesque villages of Switzerland, combined with Italy’s la dolce vita lifestyle. Ticino, the Mediterranean heart of Switzerland, is your new go-to destination for a laid-back yet enriching holiday. Here, some of the must-dos.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Imagine the magnificent alpine landscapes and picturesque villages of Switzerland, combined with Italy’s la dolce vita lifestyle. Ticino, the Mediterranean heart of Switzerland, is your new go-to destination for a laid-back yet enriching holiday. Here, some of the must-dos.

My Reading Room
INDULGE IN GASTRONOMIC EXPERIENCES

The Italian-influenced north European cuisine of Ticino means you get to enjoy home-style dishes such as salami and risotto in a traditional grotto, relax with a glass of Merlot or Grappa post-meal and indulge in the famed marron glaces (candied chestnuts). The historical Grand Cafe Al Porto restaurant is popular for its pastry creations, while grotto Grotto del Cavicc is well loved for comfort food such as cold cuts and cheese platters, grilled meats and desserts such as chocolate cake.

MARVEL AT NATURE’S WONDERS

Cruise along Lake Lugano, and admire the crystal-clear waters and surrounding mountains; take a stroll through the lakeside Ciani Park, which is backed by Mount Bre and Mount San Salvatore; or take a funicular ride up to the peak of the sun-kissed Mount Bre. If you have time to spare, make a trip to Mount Tamaro, one of the region’s most popular destinations, thanks to its array of dining, entertainment and sporting options.

ENJOY SHOPPING AND OTHER CULTURAL ACTIVITIES

The 270m-long Via Nassa, with its fashion boutiques and antique stores, is ideal for serious shoppers, while bargain hunters will love the sprawling outlet shopping mall Foxtown, located 15km south of Lugano. With the opening of the new cultural centre LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura, Ticino now plays host to concert series, art exhibitions and theatre performances. It’s worth a visit, even if just for a picture of its spectacular location on a lakeside promenade.

For more information, visit www.myswitzerland.com or www.ticino.ch.

My Reading Room
My Reading Room
My Reading Room
IF YOU ONLY HAVE A FEW HOURS...

...head to Swissminatuar, an open-air miniature park in Melide. Located less than 10 minutes by train or car from Lugano, this nearly 150,695 sq ft family-run park, which opened in 1959, features more than 120 scaled-down models of Switzerland’s most important buildings, monuments, mountains and transportation systems. This means that even with limited time, you’ll be able to “visit” all of Switzerland’s iconic sights, from the Matterhorn to the Heidiland region and the Federal Palace of Switzerland.

More: switzerland