We visited locarno Switzerland last week for a day of wonder and peace!
Locarno is located just to our south about an hour and a half away, just on the other side of the Gottard Pass. The Gottard can be a very problematic traffic risk, particularly this time of year when sun seekers are heading south at the slightest encouragement from weather apps. This was our excuse for packing a picnic, loading up the scooters for a day out in the sunshine.
Ticino is the Italian Canton in Switzerland so it feels like you have driven into another country but in reality it still benefits from Swiss organization, and Swiss standards of cleanliness, but unfortunately it adheres to swiss pricing as well! A pizza will run you at least 10-20 Euros and is intended to be eaten by one person.
In Locarno and along many of the lake front villages of Maggiore there is a long promenade usually lined with beautifully landscape park space, sometimes with playgrounds, swimming areas and almost always scattered with cafe’s. It is a perfect weekend escape to just let the children play while relaxing in the sunshine.
Just to the east of Lake Maggiorre is Lake Lugano (maybe 1/2 hour distance) and again to the south and crossing the border to Italy (another 1/2 hour) is the more famous Lake Como (home to a Mr. George Clooney). If you like to visit castles Bellinzona has 3 and is situated perfectly between the two lakes (Maggiore and Lugano). Ascona is another village (smaller) worth a mention and is not far from Locarno. Their Lido (beach space) is quite nice and totally free of charge. From many of these villages you will also find places to rent small boats for an afternoon on the lake.
Unknowingly we arrived in town on the same day as the bike fest. Locarno blocks off the streets and people come for miles around to bicycle, roller blade and scooter their way through the streets. I want to make sure we bring the bikes next year (first weekend in April). It is a common sight to see Europeans enjoying their parkspaces on a sunny weekend; they lye in the sun reading books and snacking while the children play along side. We like to add in a couple of scoops of gelato for a perfect ending to the afternoon and as a reward for a long walk along the beautiful lake side promenade.