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The castle is built on a rocky promontory in the middle of a valley linking northern and southern Europe. This strategic location on the St Gotthard route made the place a real fortress, which went so far as to close the valley with a long wall.
This view of the village was shot right next to the garden of the Walserhaus, the small museum dedicated to the German-speaking people who settled in this remote area in 1253.
Campione d´Italia (I)
A tiny piece of Italy tucked away in the Swiss canton of Ticino, Campione is a destination best known for its casino. The town doesn't have much charm, but the lakeside is superb, offering a wonderful view of Monte San Salvatore, which rises just across the lake.
This beautiful waterfall is just a few minutes walk from the hamlet of Chiggiogna, near Faido. To get there, find the chapel Oratorio di San Giuseppe and then continue along the path, trusting your instincts, the waterfall is close and easy to reach...
The Gotthard Tunnel is notorious for traffic jams that last for hours, so take the pass road instead! Here's what you'll see at the top if you get away from the crowded tourist areas.
Apart from the famous Piazza Grande, the big star of Locarno is Lake Maggiore, although only a very small part of the lake is in Switzerland. The rest is in Italy, and the lake forms the border between two large Cisalpine regions, Piedmont on its western shore and Lombardy on its eastern shore. This proximity to Italy gives Locarno a Riviera feel and a seaside holiday atmosphere.
The Lukmanier Pass (Passo del Lucomagno in Italian, Cuolm Lucmagn in Romansh) connects Biasca (Ticino) with Disentis/Mustér (Graubünden) at an altitude of 1973 metres. Here we are at the top of the pass, facing the Santga Maria reservoir, on a path that offers superb panoramic views.
The real name of the lake is Ceresio, from the Latin Ceresium, a name of uncertain origin that appeared in 590 AD in a writing by the bishop and historian Gregory of Tours. Don't panic: if you call it Lake Lugano everyone will understand! Lugano, the largest city in Ticino, is also the only major city on its shores, even though the Ceresio is shared with Italy.
Maggia is one of the villages in Vallemaggia, where the river of the same name flows. One of the places where you can go for a walk is the Cascata del Salto, an impressive waterfall. To get there, go to the foot of the stairs that lead up to the church of San Maurizio, then turn right.
Surrounded by vineyards, Meride is located above Mendrisio, on the first slopes of Monte San Giorgio. Near a free public car park, the Moroni path climbs directly to the centre of the village.
Switzerland's highest motorable pass, at 2478m, connects Ulrichen in the Upper Valais to Airolo in Ticino. It is open from June to October, and in August 2021 we shot 16 panoramas here at the top of the pass, as well as two series further down, 10 on the Valais side and 12 on the Ticino side.
Beautifully integrated into the heart of the village, the church of Sonogno was built on the site of an old 16th century church. It retained its 1782 bell tower when it was rebuilt in 1854.
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