Today I’m taking you on a dreamy winter trip to sunny Ticino, which took me and my companion Marvin to magical places and relaxing moments.
Day 1: Arrival at the Bigatt Hotel, Lugano and Christmas market in Locarno
The journey to Ticino on Friday afternoon was already an experience in itself as we looked forward to a relaxing weekend. Our arrival in Pazzallo and the short walk to the Bigatt Hotel in Lugano promised a magical time right from the start.
The Bigatt Hotel turned out to be a real treasure. The historic building, which dates back to the 17th century, has been renovated with great attention to detail and offers its guests a unique stay. With views of Lake Lugano and the surrounding mountains, they provide a breathtaking backdrop for relaxing days. The rustic charm of the hotel and the warm hospitality created a cosy atmosphere that made us feel welcome.
After a check-in full of anticipation, we explored the hotel’s amenities, including the hotel’s own restaurant with regional delicacies. A particular highlight is the hotel’s restaurant, which offers an exquisite selection of local specialities. Here, traditional Ticino flavours merge with innovative culinary creations. The friendly and experienced kitchen team prepares dishes with fresh, seasonal ingredients that tantalise the palate and put regional cuisine centre stage. Dinner in a cosy atmosphere rounded off our first day.
Day 2: Christmas city tour and relaxation in Locarno
Lugano, nestled in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland, is a picturesque city that effortlessly combines Swiss efficiency with Italian charm. This vibrant city lies on the shores of Lake Lugano, surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Swiss Alps. Renowned for its enchanting landscapes, cultural richness, and Mediterranean flair, Lugano is a gem waiting to be explored.
City tour in Lugano
The next morning, we fortified ourselves with a delicious breakfast at the hotel and started the day full of energy. The guided city tour “Christmas is in the air” took us through the festively decorated streets of Lugano. The scent of cinnamon and mulled wine accompanied us as we enjoyed the charm of the city in the run-up to Christmas and learnt about the history of the city and its buildings. The city tours are free of charge and as we were there in the run-up to Christmas, we were given a delicious panettone at the end of the tour.
In the afternoon, we continued our journey by train to Locarno. The Termali Salini & Spa awaited us there – a wellness oasis with unique architecture right on Lake Maggiore.
Termali Salini & Spa
The natural brine baths and the breathtaking view of the lake created a relaxed atmosphere that made us forget about everyday life. The Spa Termali Salini & Spa not only impressed us with its architectural design, but also with its unique wellness concept. After a relaxing day, we literally floated back to the hotel.
The evening ended with a delicious dinner in the BLU Restaurant & Lounge, which introduced us to the culinary diversity of Ticino.
BLU Restaurant & Lounge
The BLU Restaurant & Lounge not only impressed with its exquisite selection of dishes, but also with its stylish atmosphere. The combination of traditional and modern dishes allowed us to savour the culinary diversity of Ticino.
Christmas market in Locarno
The spontaneous visit to the Christmas market in Locarno also enchanted us. The small wooden huts radiated a warm atmosphere as we strolled between bars and fragrant treats. The light show was a particular highlight.
Day 3: Street art, lunch and Christmas market in Lugano
The last day began with a personalised street art tour through Lugano, where we discovered the artistic side of the city. Lunch at the Agua restaurant tantalised our taste buds before we experienced the magical “Natale in Piazza” Christmas market. The festive atmosphere, the lights and the live music really put us in the Christmas spirit.
Street Art Tour
The picturesque alleyways of Lugano served as a canvas for local and international street artists, who transformed the city into a living open-air museum with their works. We were surprised by the variety of artworks – from expressive murals to subtle stencil art installations, everything was represented.
The Ristorante Agua in Piazza Riforma not only offered an elegant atmosphere, but also an exclusive selection of dishes. The mix of traditional Ticino specialities and modern creations delighted us.
The menu in the Agua Restaurant presented a selection of traditional Ticino dishes, interpreted in a modern way and prepared with fresh, regional ingredients. Every bite was a symphony of flavours that captured the essence of Ticino cuisine. From homemade pasta dishes to delicate fish specialities – the Agua not only impressed with exquisite dishes, but also with a lovingly compiled wine list that offered the perfect accompaniment to every dish.
Natale in Piazza – Christmas market in Lugano
The Christmas market in Piazza della Riforma exuded a festive atmosphere that made us feel the magic of Christmas. The lovingly decorated stalls, the large Christmas tree and the festive lighting created a magical atmosphere.
Ticino enchanted us with its diversity and charm in winter. A weekend that was not only relaxing, but also filled us with festive anticipation. A trip to the south of Switzerland is worthwhile at any time of year.