Lavertezzo, a rustic village along the breathtaking Verzasca River (Valley) in Ticino, by Mihai-Bogdan Lazar

A taste of Ticino

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.

Verzasca Valley, Ticino by Matteo Gabriele Gennaio
Verzasca Valley, Ticino by Matteo Gabriele Gennaio

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.



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