Ascona – Latin Charm and Revolutionary Thinking
Ascona is Switzerland’s lowest lying town. It is located at 196 meters above sea level on the northern shore of Lago Maggiore, also called Lake Langen. Ascona is famous for its mild climate, its Old Town and a lake promenade which is dotted with street cafés and boasts a Latin ambience.
The church of San Pietro e Paolo, which is located in Ascona’s old center of town, Borgo, is well worth a visit. The church is a basilica dating back to the 16th century. The interior of the basilica is defined by columns. Its high bell tower is the landmark of the vacation destination of Ascona. The branching lanes of the Old Town lead to the car-free zone of the Lake Promenade with its charming street cafés.
The Monte Verità, the Mountain of Truth, lies above Ascona. People who subscribed to philosophies off the beaten track established a colony here at the beginning of the 20th century. The colony attracted celebrities from all over the world. Today the mountain is a place where the universities of Lucerne and Zurich hold seminars, and a museum showcases the history of the alternative colony and its founders.
Nowadays, the resort of Ascona, which is very close to Locarno, boasts a beautiful 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, elegant boutiques for shopping excursions, a large open-air swimming pool, smart hotels and many excellent restaurants, lovely walks in parkland, surfing, sailing and other water sports, not to mention boat trips on Lake Maggiore. There are many opportunities for excursions, hiking and biking in the beautifully wild scenery of the nearby side valleys of the Tessin such as the Maggiatal and Centovalli.
Borgo Old Town – beautiful Old Town of Ascona around the church of San Pietro e Paolo, an art museum with paintings by artists who spent time living here (Jawlensky, Werefkin, Klee).
Maggiatal – natural river landscape, broad paths in an unspoilt side valley of Ticino, with nearly 40 mountain lakes and a wealth of fauna and flora.
Brissago Islands – worth a trip, reached by a peaceful boat ride; thanks to the near-Mediterranean climate, 1500 different species of plants thrive here.
Centovalli – this enchanting “Valley of a hundred valleys” lies between Domodossola and Locarno, with deep gorges, waterfalls, chestnut woods and picturesque villages, reached by narrow-gauge railway. Rail links to Brig in the Valais, change in Domodossola.
Ronco sopra Ascona – one of the most delightful places overlooking Lake Maggiore, with an enchanting panorama of the lake and mountains, and a picturesque footpath with over 800 steps leading down to the lakeside.
Artisti di Strada – Over 100 shows of all kind of art forms at free admission performed by artists from all over the world along the lake promenade (Piazza) and in the streets and alleys of Ascona (May).
JazzAscona – Europe’s largest hot jazz festival. Internationally renowned artists perform live on stages located along the enchanting Ascona lake promenade and link the event directly with the city of New Orleans (June-July).
Settimane Musicali di Ascona – The most prestigious classical music festival in Ticino with symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles as well as recitals on single instruments held at the Churches Collegio Papio in Ascona and San Francesco in Locarno (August-October).
Jazz Cat Club
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