About Ticino, SwitzerlandTicino is the most southern state (canton) of Switzerland and stretches over almost 2811 km2 (1086 square miles). The Italian influenced state is home to approx 300’000 citizen where Italian is the official language, but German and English are spoken as well. The canton enjoys a very mild climate, similar to the near by Mediterranean Sea and is also known as the sunny living room of Switzerland with more than 2300 hour of sunshine. Palm trees and bamboo grow wild. Citrus fruit and Bougainvillea decorate the local gardens.
The mountain Monte Ceneri, south-east of Locarno, divides Ticino into tow major territories – the so called Sopraceneri in the north and Sottoceneri in the south. It used to be an important boarder post centuries ago, but it has lost its political importance many years ago. Nevertheless, the separation in linguistic usage is still existent and the scenic differences are apparent. The northern part of Ticino is more infiltrated by German speaking people while the southern part of the conton is still dominated by Italian language.
While the Sopraceneri north of Lake Maggiore is more rugged, traversed by rivers and high mountains – the Sottoceneri below the Lake Lugano, where the region is called Mendrisio plain, becomes more flat further south.
Bellinzona, Lugano and Locarno are the three biggest and most important cities in Ticino. Beginning with the 19th century, the capital city was chosen every 6 years, but since 1878 Bellinzona sues to be the capital city and not Lugano as the biggest city in Ticino. Lugano itself is Switzerland’s third biggest banking center where many of the biggest banks as well as smaller private banks have their headquarters or offices.
Bellinzona and Locarno are located within the “Magadino plain” north of the Mount Ceneri. Bellinzona, also an important UNESCO world heritage site, belongs to a part of Ticino which is the most authentic because for centuries it played a vital role in history as a crossroad, right in the middle of Europe, for travellers, merchants and soldiers crossing the Alps over the St. Gotthard pass.
Locarno, a few miles west of Bellinzona is beautiful situated on Lake Maggiore and shares the “Maggia Delta” with its sibling neighbouring village Ascona, famous for its art and cultural scene where many of the most famous German artists and intellectuals have lived and spend their time.