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Explore Ticino with Whole Journeys

By Heather Kennedy, July 15, 2013  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Heather Kennedy

Read on for Heather’s travel notes from Ticino and find out how you could win an all-inclusive foodie trip for two!

Have you heard of the Ticino region of Switzerland? As the only Italian-speaking canton (district) of Switzerland, Ticino provides a unique culture and history to visitors with a perfect blend of Swiss alpine beauty and Italian atmosphere. At Whole Journeys, the new travel division of Whole Foods Market®, we knew we wanted to include this unique area in our tour offerings.

In addition to snow-capped mountains, Ticino is defined by two stunning lakes, Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano and is famous for the view of the alps with palm trees surrounding the lakes.

I started my tour on Lake Maggiore in a town called Locarno, which felt like a Mediterranean-style retreat. The views of the glittering lake were spectacular. We visited an organic farm, Terreni alla Maggia, which produces rice, wine and chickens. The farm covers 370 acres at an altitude of just 650 feet above sea level, making it the lowest farm in the whole of Switzerland.

A trip to Ticino is not complete with a visit to Lugano, the largest town in Ticino, perched on the banks of stunning Lake Lugano. Lugano offers all the advantages of a world-class city, combined with the cachet of a small town and is surrounded by the peaks San Salvatore and Brè. Full of walking paths and trails, we chose the Olive Trail, which leads to the quaint town of Gandria, perched on the edge of the lake.

Gandria boasts picturesque streets and stairs that offer glimpses of the gorgeous landscape. The villagers of Gandria take their local fare seriously and have a small store dedicated to products from this tiny area. Some favorites were the amaretto cookies and “gasoza”, which is a flavored, sparkling Italian water. We finished our time in Lugano with a cooking class overlooking the lake. I didn’t mind constantly stirring my risotto while enjoying the incredible view!

In addition to the Alps and lakes, Ticino is home to some of the best-preserved medieval castles in Switzerland. In Bellinzona, we toured the UNESCO world heritage sites of Castelgrande, Montebello and Sasso Corbaro. This part of Switzerland was historically viewed from the south as the entrance to the Alps, while those coming down from the north considered it the "gate to Italy."  Bellinzona is rich with heritage from the Middle Ages and was a perfect way to end our tour of Ticino.

If this sounds like the trip of a lifetime, why don’t you join us on our Treasures of Ticino trip? Visit Whole Journeys for more information.

For a limited time, sign up for our e-newsletters and be entered to win an all-inclusive foodie trip for 2 to the Ticino region of Switzerland. Current subscribers are automatically entered to win. Click here for the official rules. And make sure to sign up to enter soon, the contest ends July 27 at 11:59 PM.

Category: Travel

 

1 Comment

Comments

alan hodges says ...
What a pleasure if I win.
07/24/2013 10:18:06 PM CDT