UNESCO World Heritage: the Castles of Bellinzona
At the crossroads of the Alpine passes
Bellinzona’s castles are considered amongst the finest examples of medieval fortification architecture in Switzerland and they are mainly the result of intensive and complex building activity instigated by the Dukes of Milan in the 15th century. Right up to the present day, these fortifications, with their battlements, towers and gates, continue to be a source of wonder and fascination.
Bellinzona is at a mere 30 minutes train ride from Lugano, and trains run at least every 30 minutes. You can use your SwissPass or Ticino Discovery Card for free train trasportation.
Access to the castles every day free of charge. Visits to museums inside the castle is for a fee.
UNESCO World Heritage: Monte San Giorgio
Monte San Giorgio Mountain and Fossil Museum in Meride
Come and visit these places, the local territory as well as the fossil Museum, they will allow you to discover a fascinating lost world dating over 200 millions years ago.
Monte San Giorgio is one of the most important fossil deposit in the world, for the Middle Triassic, a geological period which took place between 247 and 236 millions of years ago. The fossils coming from this mountain are known for their variety and their exceptional good conservation, they have been excavated and analysed by Swiss and Italian palaeontologists from 1850.
The international recognition of this classical fossil locality was strengthened by its inscription to the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003 for the Swiss side and in 2010 for the Italian territory.
The only cogwheel mountain train south of the alps. Takes you from the lakeshore at 260 meters above see level to over 1700 meters. So, altidutes which everyone can reach without having health troubles.
During summertime it ensures a few degrees less heat, in spring and Autumn you might see a shade of snow. In any case, the correct altitude to do some hiking
Museum and house of Hermann Hesse
After having visited the museum, have a nice walk of about 30 minutes down to the next village called Gentilino and visit its cemetry: among other tombs, there you will also find the tomb of Hermann Hesse.
Smuggler Museum in Cantine di Gandria, on the other side of lake Lugano. Free admission. Can be reached by boat from Lugano.
Splash & Spa
As of June 2013 the all new Splash & Spa center in Rivera. Very easy to reach by local S-Line train from Lugano train station. Just across the street from train station in Rivera.
Botanical Garden of Carona called Parco San Grato. Free admission. You reach it by postal bus starting from Lugano Lakeshore (or hiking down from Mountain San Salvatore).
Visit Switzerland in 1 hour. Only two stops from Lugano on local S-Line train line to Milano.