THE MEDIEVAL CASTLES OF BELLINZONA
The Bellinzona castles are one of Switzerland’s main tourist attractions. Because the ancient walls are still beautifully intact making it one of the only medieval military complexes in the Alpine region, it became part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2000.
If you plan on spending a few days on Lake Maggiore and in its valleys including the Maggia Valley and Verzasca Valley, you should absolutely include Bellinzona on your itinerary.
Bellinzona is in a strategic position. It is found at the Alpine crossroads where northern and southern Europe connect through the mountain passes of San Gottardo, Lucomagno, San Bernardino and Novena.
That’s why, an important fortress with 3 castles, a long wall and various towers, was built in this exact spot, in around the 400’s. It was the dukes of Milan, who wanted the barricade the obligatory passage, in order to prevent the Swiss confederates from advancing southwards.
One of the only medieval military complexes in the Alpine region, became part of the UNESCO.
The ancient walls are still beautifully intact making it one of the only medieval military complexes in the Alpine region, it became part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2000.
A trip to the castles, by tourist train, is like a voyage into the past: It’s an excursion to be enjoyed by all ages thanks to the splendour of the fortification with high towers and crenulated walls. Also of interest, is a stroll inside Bellinzona's old town centre, especially on Saturdays, when you can visit the local street market.
"The view of the castles and fortress walls lit up in the evening."
WHAT TO VISIT IN BELLINZONA AND IN THE NEARBY REGION
IN THE VILLAGE:
1. Visit the 3 castles and their museums: Castelgrande, Montebello and Sasso Corbaro.
2. Stroll in the old town centre and watch out for the interesting angles of the little town. Enjoy an aperitif at the many bars on the famous boardwalk.
2. Lose yourself in the captivating alleyways of the old town.
3. Shooping in the street market of Bellinzona, every Saturday.
4. Save the date of the famous Carnival festival of Bellinzona.
IN THE NEARBY REGION:
1. Cross the long Tibetan bridge at Sementina.
2. Don’t miss the wine tasting of renowned Tessin Merlot . We liked the view from the Amorosa farmhouse at Gudo.
3. For the more athletic, we recommend a ride on the bike path through the vineyards and fields that connects Bellinzona to Locarno.
4. Don’t miss a visit to Ascona and Locarno on shore of Lake Maggiore.
5. Steep in the nature of Maggia and Verzasca valleys.
6. Reach Domodossala by the famous "cento valli" train.
7. Bouldering in the Tessin valleys.
WHERE TO SLEEP IN BELLINZONA - HOTELS, B&B, APARTMENTS
Bellinzona offers a good number of hotels and holiday houses. It is possible to find an accomodation in the town or in the panoramic villages of the region.
Thanks to pictures, facilities informations and reviews, You can check easly the availability of Hotels, B&B and Holiday Houses in Bellinzona and book the best solution for You, using this link:
HOW TO GET TO BELLINZONA
Bellinzona is located in the Ticino region. It is well connected and accessible by pubblic transport.
If you arrive by car, there is a convenient underground car park in Piazza del Sole square, right in the centre, at the foot of the lift to the well-known Castelgrande.
The 3 castles may be reached comfortably on foot, by a path running along the walls or by using the touristic train which leaves from Piazza Collegiata.
FLIGHT CONNECTIONS: Check here for your flight on:
ZHR - Zurich airport 2,30h
BSL - Basel airport 3,00h
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