Bellinzona, a true Italian city outside Italy, is considered one of the most beautiful places within Switzerland. Located in a green valley of Ticino, part of Switzerland, on the Alpine foothills, it's a quaint medieval town.

The town used to serve as a natural border between Switzerland and Italy, and has always been a mix of two charismatic cultures.

With its picturesque squares and gardens, lush patios and marvellous castles greets the traveler as far as the eye can see; yet, to your surprise, will you find true gems of vivid contemporary cultures beneath the discreet charm of Bellinzona’s mysterious medieval streets.

It is a clean town. People seem to be friendly, they make eye contact with you and they return your hello.

Bellinzona is best known for the three castles that dominate the landscape. The castles were awarded the UNESCO world heritage designation, based on their key role in protection of an Alpine pass in medieval times.

These castles are: Castelgrande, Montebello, and Sasso Corbaro. And they were actually built at elevations for defense.

 

What to see in Bellinzona

In addition to the castles which have their own museums and each a stunning garden, there are different churches which Bellinzona is also famous for, with great examples of Renaissance architecture, that definitely worth a visit:

  • Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie

  • Chiesa di San Rocco

  • Chiesa di San Biagio

  • La Collegiata

Curiosity about Bellinzona:

  • It's the capital of the only Italian-speaking canton of Ticino in Switzerland, even if Lugano is the largest.

  • It's a small town of about 18,000 people.

  • About 87% of the population speaks Italian.