So thanks to the COVID situation, we decided on a holiday within Switzerland; the cases have been fairly low here and we have our car, so why not? We went to Ticino a couple of weeks ago and it was such a nice week away. We stayed right on Lake Lugano, which is a gorgeous colour and the views were stunning. It was exactly a three hour drive from home, which is not bad, and we stayed in the same hotel the whole time since I hate the hassle of switching hotels. We went on a day trip to Ascona to see Locarno and Lago Maggiore, we hiked Monte Brè one day, and we also drove to very close to the Italian border for a lake day. It was actually very handy having the car with us. A lot of Lugano sites themselves are walkable, but we were able to go a bit further this way on some days.
One of the highlights was the delicious Michelin Starred lunch with a view we had at Ristorante Arté. The food was fantastic and it was the first fancy meal we had since our anniversary dinner in Liechtenstein 4 months prior. It is becoming very tricky going to places like this with a baby so because we were on holiday we went for a Tuesday lunch. Thankfully it was not busy at all at this time, so we didn’t bother a whole restaurant full of people with our screaming baby…
This fish course was one of my favourites because the fish was fresh and beautiful and it also had this delicious pureéd aubergine that reminded me of my favourite Romanian dish: vinete. This was definitely the ‘treat meal’ of the vacay.
All the other meals we had on the trip were very tasty as well, especially the food at our hotel, the “Hotel Splendide Royal Lugano”. The one downside though is we were somewhere very Italian feeling, with Italian foods and weather, but Swiss prices. So it definitely was a pricy week. But since our Cinque Terre trip we had to cancel this seemed like a suitable replacement.
Another huge highlight of the trip for me, in fact probably the top highlight, was our hike up Monte Brè. I was so happy we managed to do a 4 hour hike with a baby, and the views at the top were so stunningly beautiful, along with a delicious well earned fritto misto lunch. I felt very accomplished too so the endorphins were high on this day.
We also ventured to Ascona for the day and it was another beautiful part of Ticino. It was very lush and green, full of palm trees and reminded me of Sri Lanka. Lugano reminds more more of Thailand. In Ascona we walked around the old town, along the lake, and up to the hill to the cathedral, which has saints up along the path as you can see.
We wrapped up the week with a lake day and I used our stand up paddle board for the first time. I was very proud of myself for actually standing up. It is much harder than it looks, but I am looking forward to getting better at it and doing this activity on future lake days. Lake days really remind me of my childhood in Canada because we did this a lot on the weekend with family and friends. I love that we have so many beautiful lakes to go to around Switzerland.
Overall I loved Ticino and would happily go back, although we definitely appreciate the prices going places like Greece and Italy instead. I am sure we will go back though because Ticino is a beautiful getaway in the same country and easy to get to for us.