Summer vacation has already begun in most Swiss cantons and many people are looking forward to travelling abroad again. But let's not forget that there are many amazing travel destinations right on our doorstep here in Switzerland. To help you discover what our different Swiss regions have to offer, leaders from our different KPMG office locations have shared their summertime tips.
Many Swiss people will stay on home turf for their summer vacation again this year. Are there any spots (museums, cinemas, art galleries or local beauty spots) in Ticino you would recommend?
Where should I start – there are some stunning parks in Lugano, like the Parco Ciani or the Parco San Grato. If you would like a little more culture, try the Museum LAC – Lugano Art and Culture, a wonderful place to enjoy the arts.
If you visit Bellinzona, then a must-see are the castles that are part of a fortress which blocked the access between Germany and Italy, controlling the major mountain passes Gotthard, Lukmanier and San Bernardino. The Bellinzona castles are some of the most enchanting examples of fortified medieval architecture of the Alps and part of the UNESCO World Heritage. The first fortresses were built by the Romans who gave them the name Bellum zona (War zone). The valley barrage was developed over centuries by various owners and outstanding architects, for example Leonardo da Vinci during the Milanese rule. Although the fortress was besieged many times, the fortification always held out and was never beaten.
Do you have any favorite restaurants in your location, whether in the city or the surrounding countryside?
I really enjoy the Grotto della Salute in Massagno for its peaceful surroundings, elegant spaces and local yet modern dishes. The Restaurant Capo San Martino serves Italian influenced cuisine with a view of Lake Lugano.
Are there any ‘must-do’ hikes you would recommend in Ticino or the surrounding areas? Are there any particular beauty spots or places they simply have to visit on the way?
If it’s a challenging hike you are after, the Monte Tamaro - Monte Lema traverse is tough but will reward your efforts with the breathtaking views over both the Locarno and Lugano regions, and their valleys and lakes. From the top of Monte San Salvatore, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the entire region. Another favorite of mine is hiking up to the top of Monte Generoso. If you want a more leisurely trip to the top you can take the panoramic train up.
For avid mountain bikers, the place to go is Monte Brè, but again, if you would rather sit back and enjoy the ride up, you can take the funicular.
On hot summer days: Which public swimming pool, lake or river do the locals go to when they want to cool down or go for a swim in Ticino or the surrounding area?
Our family favorites are Lido di Lugano, Lido San Domenico and Lido di Agno.
For those travelling with kids, what is the coolest attraction in Ticino to keep younger tourists entertained? Are there any go-to places if the weather is bad?
The castles in Bellinzona are great to visit with children who will feel as if they are back in the Middle Ages. You can visit the castles on foot, by elevator or a tourist train, and Sasso Corbaro is accessible by car. There are some excellent restaurants in the vicinity so why not make it a day trip.
Adventure Park Monte Tamaro, Swiss Miniatur, an amazing open-air museum in a park with 128 replicates of Switzerland’s most famous buildings, monuments and means of transport. For budding golfers, compete with your kids at Minigolf in Caslano. Otherwise, try Splash & Spa Tamara, Rivera – in case the weather lets you down.
Everyone loves an ice-cream when it’s hot – do you have any insider tips on the best gelateria in town?
With the Italian influence in Ticino, I would recommend the Gelateria Veneta in Lugano. Buonissimo!
Finally, a question for you: Can you tell us where you are spending your summer vacation this year?
I will spend my vacation in the mountains, in San Bernardino. I really enjoy hiking and San Bernardino is a wonderful place that offers many appealing mountain tours.
Interesting topics for you: