Ticino – Switzerland’s best-kept secret?

Giardino Group’s two wonderfully glamorous hotels in Switzerland’s southern canton of Ticino, Giardino Ascona (www.giardino-ascona.ch/en/) and Giardino Lago (www.giardino-lago.ch/en/), are welcoming guests to an exciting season of outdoor activities and exciting events in this stunning region – which is curiously little-known to British visitors.

Giardino Ascona gardens & pool; Giardino Lago roof-top bar & Lake Maggiore views

Covering an area a little larger than the Lake District, the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino is where Switzerland’s southern Alps meet the lemon trees of the Mediterranean region. This is where mountains meet palm trees, wild valleys mix with picturesque vineyards, and ancient towns are found close to crystal-clear lakes. Along with its charming villages and panoramic walking, biking and horse riding routes, Ticino has three acclaimed 18-hole golf courses and a plethora of fresh-water activities on Lake Maggiore.

It also presents a vibrant series of festivals during the warmer months. From 2 to 5 June, the International Festival of Street Artists takes place in beautiful Ascona; there’s a colourful programme of pantomimes, stage acts and performances from jugglers, fire-eaters, musicians and many others. Later in the month Ascona’s renowned jazz festival starts, this year running from 22 June to 1 July.

There’s more music in Locarno from 14 to 22 July with the Moon and Stars rock festival, and the Brits will be out in force, with Sting, Jamiroquai and Amy Macdonald headlining. More glamour is on the cards from 2 to 18 August, when Locarno stages its acclaimed film festival attended by a multitude of stars and the Piazza Grande is turned into an amazing open-air cinema for 8,000 or so spectators.

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