Getting to know Ticino
Once you've settled in and covered all the essentials, it's time to get to know your new environment. Becoming familiar with the local culture is a start. Meet people with similar interests and make an effort to take part in activities that interest you. Most importantly, stay open and receptive to the new experience.
Ticino has an exceptional variety of landscapes and blends Mediterranean sunshine and la dolce vita with breath-taking Alpine scenery. Arts, culture and quality of life are priorities here. Ticino is proud to have two UN World Heritage sites within its borders, the Bellinzona Castles and Monte San Giorgio.
Things to do in Ticino
- The Ticino Discovery Card invites you to explore Ticino's attractions at reduced rates. Bellinzona Castles and Monte San Giorgio are not to be missed. Find out more about the regions of Ticino, including Bellinzona, Lugano, Lake Maggiore, and Mendrisiotto.
- Gastronomy: the grotto ticinese is a way of life in Ticino. These rustic taverns with shaded gardens offer traditional local cuisine in a picturesque setting: Merlot, Nostrano or Barbera wines and Gazzosa lemonade accompany salami, mortadella, minestrone, busecca, risotto, marinated fish, vitello tonnato, polenta, rabbit stew, cazzöla, and local cheeses; followed by zabaglione, breadcake and peaches marinated in wine. Discover more about the grotti of Ticino.
- Ticino Experience introduces Ticino's gastronomical heritage, with a presentation and tasting of local products in an memorable setting at the Casa Rustica at Albergo Losone. The 27. Maggio Gastronomico Tre Valli 2013 festival invites you to discover Ticino's regional cuisine at restaurants in the Riviera and Leventina and Blenio valleys. Learn to make cheese in the heart of the Alps at Caseificio del Gottardo in Airolo. Slow Food Ticino locally represents this international movement.
- Wines of Ticino: at the Grape Festival on the last weekend of September, the narrow streets and inner courts of old houses Mendrisio's old town are transformed into true grotti for drinking wine accompanied by local food. Bacchica Grape Harvest Festival, Bellinzona: in the first week of September, the city of Bellinzona and its surroundings become part of the traditional feast of harvest. Apart from a costumed parade, music, and smaller events, wine tasting with the Sopraceneri wine makers is the main attraction.
- Mendrisiotto and Lower Ceresio Grape Harvest: Wine producers invite visitors to experience the magical and festive atmosphere of the harvest season by actively taking part in the harvest and getting close to nature, with a convivial break. Details and sign up at the Mendrisiotto Turismo office. Visit Ticino tourism for a list of winemakers, wine shops and cellars in Ticino. Ticinowine organises open cellar days.
- Wine Routes: Ticino Vineyard Trails in the Mendrisiotto region offers three easy themed vineyard trails, all related to local culture and history, vine growing and wine production. The wine roads are thematic routes exploring the wineries and vineyards of Ticino, passing through ancient villages, rural traditions, scenic landscapes and interesting architecture.
- Explore local Ticino traditions that have been officially recognised by UNESCO as part of our non-material world heritage. These include: Roof covering and repairs, Fairs of Saint Martin and Saint Provino, Historic militias of the Blenio Valley, Historic processions in Mendrisio, and Rabadan and carnival in Ticino. The Living Traditions website has more details.
- See the article entertainment, news and media for events, live music, film, theatre, and nightlife. Highlights include the Locarno Film and Ascona Jazz Festival.
- See the article shopping in Ticino for markets and local specialities.
- Ticino has hundreds of museums. Don't miss the Hermann Hesse Museum in Montagnola, the San Gottardo Museum at 2085 metres above sea level, and Swissminiatur in Melide.
- Visit Monte Verità, Ascona and see what inspired Hermann Hesse, James Joyce, Hans Arp, Paul Klee, Prince Kropotkin, and many other famous visitors.
- Admire the architecture, whether contemporary, ancient, or rural. Mario Botta was born in Ticino and his influence is strongly evident.
- Explore one of the many trails. Highlights include Verzasca Valley, the Yoga Trail, Mount San Salvatore to Morcote, and La strada degli Alpi. See the article on sports in Ticino for a range of activities.
- Recharge with health and wellness offers in beautiful surroundings.