A Winter Postcard From Locarno in Switzerland
Escaping The Grey and Heading For The Blue Skies
There’s a phrase you hear a lot around Zurich in the winter, which goes “Oben Blau, Unten Grau”. Roughly translated it means that when it’s blue up in the mountains it’s often grey down below. What this generally refers to is the situation that you can find yourself in during winter, when a layer of fog descends over certain parts of Switzerland. Unfortunately one of those places can sometimes be Zurich and around the lake.
Head For The Hills, Or Head For Ticino
So if you’re carving sunshine, the only option is go up into the mountains – or, alternatively head south to Ticino!
Ticino is known as the “Sonnenstube” of Switzerland – or the “sun room” or “conservatory” of the county. It’s the place to head to for a change of scenery, a change of tempo and hopefully a change of weather! It doesn’t always work, as last Summer I left behind a warm sunny day in Zurich to find myself caught in an onslaught of thunderstorms in Ticino. However, I’m sure I was just unlucky! 🙂
Locarno is Situated on Lake Maggiore – Perfect For Boat Trips
So the other day as Zurich was engulfed in a rather dismally grey day, our photographer Carmen, headed by train to Locarno. This Italian-speaking resort city in southern Switzerland is situated on Lake Maggiore at the bottom of the Alps. As she disembarked into the cool winter sunshine, it may have only been a few degrees warmer than back in Zurich, but the sun made all the difference.
Unfortunately, due to Lockdown, a day in Locarno doesn’t allow you to do one of the best things going – enjoying a lovely meal in a restaurant. There were still take-aways open, and of course you could stroll through the beautiful town of Locarno. Another great option is to take a boat trip on the lake.
The boat trip from Locarno to Magadino is beautifully scenic.
Carmen took this route then instead of disembarking, stayed on board to enjoy the return journey.
Locarno, is said to be the town in Switzerland with the warmest climate. It also enjoys fabulous lakeside views as it is situated on the northern shore of Lago Maggiore.
As well as being known for its sunny climate, is also home to the Castello Visconteo which houses the Museo Civico, which is full of Roman antiquities. The castle, dates back to the 12th century and lies at the edge of the Old Town and a substantial part of the building has been preserved in its original state.
Palm trees and lemon trees are abundant here giving it a real mediterranean feel and in summer, the Piazza Grande, which is famous for its annual film festival, is the meeting point for old and young alike. Take a wander around the narrow cobbled streets and you will find the most splendid palazzi houses in the old town.
Madonna Del Sasso
One outdoor place definitely worth a visit is the 15th-century Santuario della Madonna del Sasso.
It’s the most famous place of pilgrimage in the whole of the Italian part of Switzerland.
It was consecrated in 1487 on the spot where, seven years earlier, the Virgin had appeared to Brother Bartholomeo da Ivrea from the San Francesco monastery.
With its stunning views over the city, you can reach it by funicular railway.
It makes for a very scenic 20 minute walk and the views are stunning.
The funicular train to the Madonna del Sasso
So if you fancy a break somewhere sunny, how about a day trip or weekend break to Locarno?
For more information on Locarno please visit the Tourist Information website here.
Carmen specialises in LinkedIn and family and pet photography and has a studio in Zurich
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