Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lake Maggiore, Switzerland (May 26-28, 2008)

With its mild Mediterranean climate and gorgeous setting beneath the Lepontene Alps, Lake Maggiore is a popular resort area for Switzerland and Italy. The lake spans both countries, with only its northern tip in the Italian-speaking Ticino canton of Switzerland.

A number of historic towns line the shores of the Swiss region of the lake, including Locarno, Ascona and Brissago. Colorful houses dot the steep and lushly wooded hillsides overlooking the water. Kiwi vines, roses, jasmine and bougainvillea trail along terraces and old stone walls in the towns' narrow lanes.
Ascona began as a small fishing village and grew into a fashionable resort in the 19th century. Many of the buildings in Ascona's Old Town date from the 14th century.
The gorgeous view of Lake Maggiore from Piazza G. Motta, Ascona's waterfront promenade
Shops and cafes line Ascona's waterfront
The tower of the 16th century Parish church of Saints Peter and Paul rises above the brightly colored buildings of Ascona's Old Town
The 16th century Santuario della Madonna del Sasso, built on a hillside overlooking Locarno and Lake Maggiore. A stone staircase - the Via Crucis - leads from Locarno to the Sanctuary and is lined with small chapels.

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