Theme Week Ticino

Monday, 24 October 2022 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Bon voyage, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  7 minutes

Bay of Lugano © SamuelFerrara/cc-by-sa-4.0

Bay of Lugano © SamuelFerrara/cc-by-sa-4.0

Ticino, sometimes Tessin, officially the Republic and Canton of Ticino or less formally the Canton of Ticino, is one of the 26 cantons forming the Swiss Confederation. It is composed of eight districts and its capital city is Bellinzona. It is also traditionally divided into the Sopraceneri and the Sottoceneri, respectively north and south of Monte Ceneri. Red and blue are the colours of its flag.

Ticino is the southernmost canton of Switzerland. It is one of the three large southern Alpine cantons, along with Valais and the Grisons. However, unlike all other cantons, it lies almost entirely south of the Alps, and has no natural access to the Swiss Plateau. Through the main crest of the Gotthard and adjacent mountain ranges, it borders the canton of Valais to the northwest, the canton of Uri to the north and the canton of Grisons to the northeast; the latter canton being also the only one to share some borders with Ticino at the level of the plains. The canton shares international borders with Italy as well, including a small Italian enclave.

Named after the Ticino, its longest river, it is the only canton where Italian is the sole official language and represents the bulk of the Italian-speaking area of Switzerland along with the southern parts of the Grisons. In 2020, Ticino had a population of 350,986. The largest city is Lugano, and the two other notable centres are Bellinzona and Locarno. While the geography of the Sopraceneri region is marked by the High Alps and Lake Maggiore, that of the Sottoceneri is marked by the Alpine foothills and Lake Lugano. The canton, which has become one of the major tourist destinations of Switzerland, distinguishes itself from the rest of the country by its warm climate, and its meridional culture and gastronomy.

The land now occupied by the canton was annexed from Italian cities in the 15th century by various Swiss forces in the last transalpine campaigns of the Old Swiss Confederacy. In the Helvetic Republic, established in 1798, it was divided between the two new cantons of Bellinzona and Lugano. The creation of the Swiss Confederation in 1803 saw these two cantons combine to form the modern canton of Ticino. Because of its unusual position, the canton relies on important infrastructure for connection with the rest of the country. The first major north-south railway link across the Alps, the Gotthard Railway, opened in 1882. In 2016, the Gotthard Base Tunnel was inaugurated, which finally provided a fully flat route through the Alps.

The opening of the Gotthard Railway in 1882 led to the establishment of a sizeable tourist industry mostly catering to German-speakers, although since the early 2000s the industry has suffered from the competition of more distant destinations. The mild climate throughout the year makes the canton a popular destination for hikers. The high Alps of Ticino include numerous tourist facilities such as the Monte Generoso Railway, the Ritom Funicular and the Cardada Cableway. Among other tourist attractions are the Verzasca Dam, popular with bungee jumpers, and Swissminiatur in Melide, a miniature park featuring scale models of over 120 Swiss monuments. The Brissago Islands on Lake Maggiore are the only Swiss islands south of the Alps, and house botanical gardens with 1,600 different plant species from five continents.

Lago Maggiore as seen from mountain hut Al Legn © Acp~commonswiki/cc-by-sa-3.0 Madonna del Sasso in Orselina © Haluktek/cc-by-sa-4.0 Ponte dei Salti in Verzasca Valley © flickr.com - Diriye Amey/cc-by-2.0 Rustic stone houses in Foroglio © Zacharie Grossen/cc-by-sa-4.0 Bay of Lugano © SamuelFerrara/cc-by-sa-4.0 Brissago Islands © Uwelino/cc-by-sa-4.0 Castles of Bellinzona © H005/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Lago Maggiore as seen from mountain hut Al Legn © Acp~commonswiki/cc-by-sa-3.0
Ticino is one of the wine regions for Swiss wine. The defined region encompasses all of the canton plus the neighbouring Italian-speaking district of Moesa (Misox and Calanca valleys) in the canton of the Grisons (Ticino (wine region).

As the only predominantly Italian-speaking canton, Ticino notably distinguishes itself from the rest of the country by its meridional, or Mediterranean, culture. Cultural identity of Ticino is complex and is marked by its long history as a bailiwick of the Swiss Confederacy, until its independence of 1803. Ticinese identity was gradually forged in the 19th century, partly thanks to the efforts of major intellectual figures such as Stefano Franscini and Carlo Cattaneo.

Ticino is particularly known for its rich architectural heritage, ranging from the anonymous rock architecture of grottos and splüi, over Romanesque and baroque to contemporary styles. The birthplace of Francesco Borromini, the canton is home to internationally recognized architects, such as Mario Botta, Aurelio Galfetti, Luigi Snozzi, Livio Vacchini. As early as the 18th century, aristocrats from Russia and Italy employed numerous architects from Ticino. More recently, the region became a centre of the Neo-Rationalist Tendenza movement.

Ticino hosts two World Heritage sites: the Three Castles of Bellinzona and Monte San Giorgio. The city of Locarno is host to the Locarno International Film Festival, Switzerland’s most prestigious film festival, held during the second week of August. Estival Jazz, a free open-air jazz festival, is held in Lugano and Mendrisio in late June and July. Another jazz festival is held in Ascona. Rabadan is the major carnival festival of the canton. It has been ongoing now for more than 150 years.

Traditional folk music of Ticino particularly distinguishes itself from that of northern Switzerland. Among traditional instruments are the accordion, the guitar and, since the 19th century, the mandolin. Duos and trios with mandolin and guitar typically accompany regional folk songs. Like most of Switzerland, Ticino has a long brass-band tradition. A regional, reduced version, is the bandella, an ensemble consisting of brass instruments and clarinets.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Ticino Tourism, MySwitzerland.com – Ticino, Swiss cuisine, Wikivoyage Ticino and Wikipedia Ticino. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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