A Winter Postcard From Sunny Locarno in Ticino Switzerland

Top Things to do in Winter and Spring in Locarno

by cfryer

A Winter Postcard From Sunny Locarno in Ticino Switzerland

A Winter Postcard From Locarno in Switzerland 

A Winter Postcard From Sunny Locarno in Ticino 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 “sits” 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 craving sunshine, the only option is go up into the mountains – or, alternatively head south to Ticino!

A Winter Postcard From Locarno in Switzerland 

Ticino – The “Sonnenstube” of Switzerland

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! 🙂

A Winter Postcard From Locarno in Switzerland 

Locarno is Situated on Lake Maggiore – Perfect For Boat Trips

So one 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, the temperature may have been only a few degrees warmer than Zurich, but the sun made all the difference.

A Winter Postcard From Locarno in Switzerland 

If you get the chance, find a lovely restaurant and dine out on some of the local specialities. There are plenty of Italian favourites on most menus and you may even find some outdoor terraces where you enjoy declicious food in the open air. Another fun option is to take a boat trip on the lake.

A Winter Postcard From Locarno in Switzerland 

The boat trip from Locarno to Magadino is beautifully scenic.

A Winter Postcard From Locarno in Switzerland 

Carmen took this boat 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.

A Winter Postcard From Locarno in Switzerland 

Castello Visconteo and Museo Civico

As well as being known for its sunny climate, is also home to the Castello Visconteo (which reopens on 5th March 2022) which houses the Museo Civico and 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.

Piazza Grande Locarno

Palm trees and lemon trees are abundant here giving it a real mediterranean feel.  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

Madonna Del Sasso Locarno

One outdoor place definitely worth a visit is the 15th-century Santuario della Madonna del Sasso.

Madonna Del Sasso Locarno

It’s the most famous place of pilgrimage in the whole of the Italian part of Switzerland.

Madonna Del Sasso Locarno

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.

Madonna Del Sasso Locarno

With its stunning views over the city, you can reach it by funicular railway.

Funicular Madonna Del Sasso Locarno

It makes for a very scenic 20 minute walk and the views are stunning.

Funicular to Madonna Del Sasso Locarno

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.

Another sunny Winter location you may wish to visit in Ticino is Lugano. Read all about Lugano here.

With Photos by Carmen Sirboiu.

Carmen specialises in LinkedIn and family and pet photography and has a studio in Zurich

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