The three castles of Bellinzona are one of the main attractions in canton Ticino. Not only unique to the Alpine region; they also share a part on the prestigious UNESCO cultural world heritage list since the year 2000. The mighty walls, towers, battlements and gates of these imposing fortresses never cease to astonish visitors.
In earlier times, the medieval castles of Castelgrande, Castello Montebello and Castello Sasso Corbaro protected the city they now adorn. Only remnants now remain of the fortress walls that once surrounded Bellinzona. Bellinzona was a very important line of defence for the ancient Romans, and the first written reference dates back to 590.
Castelgrande, also known as Castello di San Michele or Burg Uri, is the oldest of these 13th century castles. Two towers, Torre Nera (28 metres) and Torre Bianca (27 metres) dominate Bellinzona's Old Town. The Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Art are located in the Castelgrande.
Castello Montebello, also known as Schwyz or San Martino, and the castle with the highest elevation, Corbaro Sasso – once known as Unterwalden or Santa Barbara, are among the best preserved medieval castles in Switzerland and are Unesco World Cultural Heritage sites.
Tracing the steps of salami making with little Artù
There is a culinary aspect to Castello di Montebello in Bellinzona. On the tour, the visitors hear about the secret of the “salame dei castelli”. They can watch how this Ticino speciality is produced and may even taste it..
Exploring the castles of Bellinzona with Artù
Artù, the little tourist train, starts in the old town and brings the guests conveniently to the castles of Montebello and Sasso Corbaro. At the most important historic monuments and attractions, the train stops to let the visitors get off and on.
The tour lasts about 1 ½ hours and tickets can be purchased directly on site or at Bellinzona Tourism.
UNESCO World Heritage ticket
The Swiss Castles
The diversity of castles and palaces in Switzerland is unique. The association " The Swiss Castles " provides an overview of the various tourist offers, defines quality standards and offers national and international guests a reliable orientation aid for a Swiss castle experience.
2 to 4 hours (half day)
|Suitable for children with age||
10 to 13 years, 14+ years
Families, Groups, Individual, Couples
Indoor and outdoor
Culture, Education, Urban