Tips for three autumn days in Bellinzona and North Ticino From the Black Tower to vibrant chestnut woods 

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Intro

Delve deep into the history of the Middle Ages, climb high above the Magadino Plain and end the day with a glass of wine and a creamy risotto: The region around Bellinzona offers plenty of ways to relax and have fun. 

Day 1

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Bellinzona: A city for gourmets

The ancient streets of Bellinzona have much to offer both history buffs and gourmets.

A guided tour visits all three historic castles and the bustling farmers’ market, where stalls sell a wide range of local delights to suit every palate and the aroma of creamy risotto fills the air. In addition to tasting local specialities and some superb merlot, guests can prepare their own Ticino-style risotto during summer months. 

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Day 2

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Bellinzona: Escape from the torre nera (black tower)

Castelgrande sits atop a hill overlooking Bellinzona. Both its white tower and black tower are visible from afar. If, after visiting the history museum and the elegant restaurant, you’d like a glimpse of what life was like in the harsh 16th century, then be sure to visit the Torre Nera Escape Room. Several men were imprisoned in this tower after their mission went awry. Instead of waiting for their trial, you can help set them free with the aid of some mysterious objects. 

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Day 3

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Monte Carasso: Discover the region from above

Carasc, a Tibetan bridge located between the municipalities of Sementina and Monte Carasso is 270 metres long, suspended 130 metres above the stream in Sementina and has a sag of 14 metres. It offers both amazing views of the Magadino Plain and an adrenaline kick for courageous hikers. The little cluster of houses that is Curzútt has been extensively renovated and is much more laid back.

The trail then passes through lush vineyards and vibrant autumn chestnut woods with views over the brilliant blue Lake Maggiore.

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Restaurant tip

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Bellinzona: Grotto San Michele Castelgrande

The Restaurant Castelgrande serves local dishes with playful hints of the Mediterranean made using fresh, seasonal produce.

Grotto San Michele, which belongs to the restaurant, is nestled between the imposing town walls and the picturesque vineyards of the castle. It boasts a magnificent terrace looking out onto the town of Bellinzona and the Magadino Plain. The grotto’s vaulted ceiling creates a cosy, intimate atmosphere, which makes the refreshing antipasti and lovingly prepared tagliatelle taste even better. 

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Hotel tip

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Bellinzona: Locanda Marco

Walk through the historical centre of Bellinzona with a view of the castles: Locanda Marco – an extensively renovated historical building – offers a warm welcome.

Ticino wood and stone are cleverly combined with concrete to give the inn its own unique character. The four double rooms have their own bath and shower and have been lovingly and comfortably furnished. Gourmets will be delighted by the inspired menus made primarily from local produce.

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