Living close to Milan without ever having been to Switzerland is almost impossible. That’s why, when I got invited to spend a few days in Ticino, the Italian speaking part of the country, I packed in my luggage also some old mental pictures about this country. As far as I could tell, Switzerland is the land of chocolate, pocket knives, white ski tracks and green valleys crowded by cows. What else was there to discover spending some time between Lugano and Locarno?
Actually, my Swiss trip confirmed my memories of green valleys, cows, the never late modern trains, the beautiful mountains… But I also found comfortable small towns, thermal centres suitable for children, wonderful lakes under a burning sun, adventure parks and green areas for the whole family.
Locarno surprised me with an exciting program full of shows and exhibitions, a lakeshore to enjoy a sunny day and featured with bath tubes for the winter season. Lugano, instead, offers churches with magnificent frescos, lovely walks in the historical centre, charming cafes and an enjoyable boat trip over the lake.
The surroundings offer enchanting views from Mount Tamaro and trekking routes of several difficulty degrees, starting from the easiest ones suitable for four year olds. And to relax body and mind, modern and technologically advanced SPAs will welcome also your children, with water games, scivoli and any kind of pools, all framed by the beautiful Swiss mountains.
Accommodation: Locarno is an excellent starting point to explore Ticino and the Ramada Arcadia Hotel, on the lakeshore, is a welcoming lodgement option for the whole family.
Food: especially suited for children are Osteria Nostrana in Ascona, and Sensi in Locarno (they have all is needed to take good care of your little ones!).
Transportation: moving around in Switzerland by public means is simple and comfortable, and it can get quite expensive; a good solution is the Arcobaleno Ticket, which allows the holder to move freely by train, bus and ferry.