A short train ride through the Alps and you’ll find yourself in the sparkling sunshine of Ticino – the Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland. Different from the rest of the country in so many ways, it’s an escape for Swiss and Germans looking for a little bit of La Dolce Vita.
Balmy and palm-fringed, this area in the southern foothills owes its food, culture and attitude more to Milan than to Zurich. But the glamour lies in the area’s stunning natural beauty, which often seems to blind outsiders with romance. Lush wooden hills rise from azure water, matching the sky creating a barrage of blue.
The capital of Ticino is Bellinzona, Switzerland’s most Italianate town. The skyline is defined by powerful fortifications – three of which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Picturesque squares and courtyards, restored old houses and an old Italian-styled theaters tell a history of a culturally Lombardy town. But behind the austere charm of a medieval town lies a modern meeting place lined with boutiques, cafes and the good life.
And park yourself under a palm tree. Bellissima!