Bellinzona: Castles of Montebello

Before I take you to my last travel stop in Bruges, Belgium for my Euro Trip for 2017, I thought I better take you somewhere else first. I actually completely forgot that I made another stop in Switzerland.  While I was in Italy staying with my family in Luino, my cousins took me to the Swiss city of Bellinzona.

Bellinzona is the capital city of the canton  Ticino of Switzerland. It is in the Italian-speaking southern region of Switzerland, just north of Lugano. This city is famous for its three medieval castles, Castelgrande, Montebello and Sasso Corbaro.

We visited the Castelgrande, which overlooks the other two castles. This castle was fortified from the 1st to the 13th century. Although the original Roman fort is no longer visible, parts of the High Middle Age castle are visible. Most of what stands is from the 11-15th century.

To get up to the castle we had to take an elevator from the foot of the rock. There is a museum, which covers 6500 years of human inhabitance from this hill. There is also a restaurant, had a function on the day of our visit.

This castle was truly an amazing site to see. Not only are the views of Bellinzona spectacular, but the sheer majesty of the castle blew my mind. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to visit the museum on this afternoon. If you’re interested in human history, I think it would be fantastic.

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Lugano: Swiss-Italian perfection

When I last left you on our European travel adventure we were making our way up to see our family in Luino, Italy. On the way, we made two stops, Como and beautiful Lugano. I have been to Lugano a few times in the past. It is in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland and a very short drive from the Italian border. In fact, most of my Italian family actually work in Switzerland. They are very fortunate to live so close to Switzerland for work opportunities and job security.

The lifestyle in Switzerland is still very different to Italy, despite the common language. The maintenance of the cities and towns is like night and day compared most of Italy. If you get a chance I really recommend stopping in Lugano  The drive is about an hour and a half from Milano. You can also get a highspeed train from Milan. There is a more direct route then we took, but driving through Como roughly takes the same amount of time and is more scenic.


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