Locarno is the capital of the Locarno area, situated on the northern tip of Lake Maggiore (Lago Maggiore) in the Swiss canton of Ticino, near Ascona at the foot of the Alps. It has a populace of around 15,000 and 60,000 for the urban range including Ascona. The official language of Locarno is Italian. It is the 74th greatest city in Switzerland by population and the third greatest of the canton Ticino, after Lugano and Bellinzona. The Locarno International Film Festival happens each year in August in the city and, around evening time, on the Piazza Grande. The Locarno Treaties were arranged here in 1925. In January 2004, the Italian student of history Marino Vigano guessed that Locarno’s mansion might have been designed by Leonardo da Vinci.
With a 2,300 hours of sunshine every year and a church that was established after an appearance of the Virgin Mary, the place is known as Locarno, the town with the warmest climate in Switzerland. Southern vegetation such as palm trees or lemon trees flourish in Locarno and give the city its distinct appeal. The heart of the city is the Piazza Grande, which is well-known for its annual film festival. The narrow lanes of the Old Town all lead to the Piazza. Castello Visconteo, a castle dating back to the 12th century, lies at the edge of the Old Town. About a fifth of the castle has been preserved in its original state.
The pilgrimage church of Madonna del Sasso is located above Locarno, in Orselina. The church is said to have been established as a result of an appearance of the Virgin Mary. It is the most notable sight in Locarno, and vaunts an astonishing sight of the city, the lake and the mountains.
The city of Locarno offers some exotic places of sightseeing and can be a source of an immense pleasure while you opt to visit this place with your friends and family.
Val Verzasca is just a few kilometers away from Locarno, it offers some of the wildest hiking in Switzerland because of much reduced infrastructure. The most famous hike, a 6-day Via Alta, is especially recommended but if you only have a day, or even half a day you can still find an exciting hike, either along the valley, or by climbing up to the peaks. Some of the best hikes take you from Verzasca to the neighboring valleys (Maggia, Leventina) through breathtaking passes. Generally the nicer hikes start in the higher section, in and after Lavertezzo. The one for sure amazing sightseeing location is the valley of the Valle Verzasca. It starts high up in the mountains behind the village Sogono and flows through the Lago di Vogorno through the mountains down, where it empties into Lake Maggiore. During its centuries-old journey huge rocks are beautifully carved which is very impressive to see. The valley has many beautiful places where it definitely is worth it to get out to car or moving away from the engine. Several villages and beautiful views over the valley also give a great sense of calm to the visitors.
If you are a religious person the most famous attraction Locarno has in store for you is the famous Santuario Della Madonna Del Sasso Church. Overlooking the town, this sanctuary was built after the Virgin Mary supposedly appeared in a vision to a monk, Bartolomeo d’Ivrea, in 1480. This is a highly adorned church and several rather rough, near-life-size statue groups including one of the Last Supper in places on the stairway. The best-known painting in the church is La Fuga in Egitto known as the Flight to Egypt, painted in 1522 by Bramantino. A funicular runs every 15 minutes from the town Centre past the sanctuary to Orselina, but a more scenic, pilgrim-style approach is the 20-minute walk up the chapel-lined Via Crucis.
Locarno is a real summer resort not just for Switzerland standards. With a mild climate, most suitable in the country during the summer and the longer Locarno is a real gem hidden within Alps. And the city of Locarno is all cluttered with greenery which is pleasing for many nature lovers.
If you want to soothe your eyes with ancient ornaments and things from the past, Locarno is a worthwhile place to be in. Castello Visconteo which was named after the Visconti clan that long ruled Milan, this stout 15th-century castle’s nucleus was raised around the 10th century. It is now a home to a museum with Roman and Bronze Age exhibits and also hosts a small display in Italian on the Locarno Treaty.
Walking is the best way to explore new places in opinion of many travelers. This is also very recommendable for Locarno especially. Locarno is one of place with the sunniest days per year in whole of the Switzerland. Walking are recognized as popular touristic activity here and you can find many online sources about walking Itineraries, trekking and thematic paths. The nicest path you can walk around is promenade along lake shore.
Parks and squares are not extinct in Locarno. The most popular here is the Piazza Grande, the meeting place in the heart of the town. The commercial area, concerts and events takes place here and the weekly market on Thursdays. In the month of August, the evening screenings for the film festival is held here and gathers the authors and artists from all over the world.
Stride out and about the Italianate piazzas and arcades, and admire the Lombard houses. There are some interesting churches. Built in the 17th century, the Chiesa Nuova has a strikingly decorative baroque ceiling. Outside, left of the entrance, stands a giant statue of St Christopher with disproportionately tiny feet. The 16th-century Chiesa di San Francesco has frescos by Baldassare Orelli, while the Chiesa di Sant’Antonio is best known for its altar to the Cristo morto (Dead Christ). Locarno is believed to have been a glass-manufacturing town in Roman times, which accounts for the strong showing of glass artefacts in the museum. The castle changed hands various times and was occupied by the Milanese under Luchino Visconti in 1342.
Taken by French forces in 1499, the castle and town of Locarno eventually fell to the Swiss confederation in 1516.