This isn’t the Switzerland I know and love. Gone are the snow-carpeted peaks and tidy green meadows speckled with dairy cows. Gone are the deep brown larch wood chalets with bursts of colourful geraniums at each miniature window. Gone as well, the guttural bursts of local Schwiizertüütsch dialect. Chuchichäst li (the test for any foreigner, the nearly unpronounceable word for kitchen hutch), becomes, with a deft roll of the tongue, credenza.
Here, lush yellow mimosas and tall date palms line the shores of cerulean lakes, and ancient stone houses huddle together in tiny mountaintop villages like ants in the rain. There’s laughter in the warm, breezy air and the Merlot flows like mother’s milk. Italy? Not a chance. The trains actually run on time, and the winding cobblestone lanes are unusually tidy. Rather than bumper-to-bumper Fiats beeping a cacophony of horns, I spot two Ferraris casually parked on a side street, their owners either very confident or very relaxed. Welcome to Ticino, the Mediterranean heart of Switzerland. To read the full article, subscribe to our magazine now by click here.
And if you liked this story, subscribe to our bi-monthly World Travel Magazine, a handpicked selection of editorial features and stories from Global Destinations, Inspire Me, Insider, Style File, Wellness & Travel, City Travel, Suite Life, At Leisure, Short Breaks and much more.