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Locarno

Situated at the northern tip of Lake Maggiore, the main body of which lies over the border in Italy, Switzerland's lowest city, Locarno, bathes in a climate more Mediterranean than Alpine. The warmth of its climate - Locarno enjoys an estimated 2,300 hours of sunshine each year - and the natural splendour of the city's lakeside setting long ago secured Locarno's popularity as a recreational destination.

2 results matching: Discover Locarno

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Lake Maggiore
Save £200pp
4.2 stars(68 reviews)
2024JunJulAugSepOct
2025AprMayJunSepOct
8 days from
£1,399 pp £1,199 pp
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  • DestinationItaly, Switzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
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Lake Orta
New tour
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4.2 stars(47 reviews)
2024SepOct
8 days from
£1,499 pp £1,299 pp
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8 days from
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£1,299
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  • DestinationItaly
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
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Our customers love our Locarno tours
Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta and the Alps
28/Apr
Mrs C R Stansfeld
4 stars
“Stresa is a beautiful Italian town which we had already visited 3 times! (Once with Rail Discoveries) I was very pleased to try out my halting Italian and the locals, as ever, were very understanding. All the hotels and meals were good. Some of the rail travel was challenging especially for those with mobility 'issues', and the scenery, especially in Switzerland, is breathtaking.
Collected by Trustpilot
The Best of the Italian Lakes & the Matterhorn
28 Sep 2023
R Lower
4 stars
“The hotel was in the most beautiful setting on lake Orta - food was excellent and the infinity pool superb. The journey both ways was long but worth it - especially with the first night in Turin. Our tour guide, Linda, was first rate - I would thoroughly recommend the trip especially if you’ve never been to the mountains and lakes before.
Collected by Trustpilot

First mentioned in records in 807AD when controlled by Italian nobility, Locarno had previously been a Roman settlement, although this area of Lake Maggiore bears evidence of inhabitation since prehistoric times. Largely an agricultural community, Locarno's prosperity as a centre of trade and commerce grew in the fourteenth century thanks to its proximity to a trading route between Italy, Switzerland and Germany.

This long and colourful history has bestowed a wealth of historic buildings upon Locarno and today the city boasts nine individual, Swiss Heritage Sites of National Significance including the twelfth century Castello Visconteo, and the Church of Saint Francesco which dates from 1538.

Besides historic architecture Locarno offers beautiful public gardens, a diversity of shops, cafes and restaurants, art galleries, museums and other attractions and is small enough to be explored enjoyably on foot. A relaxing afternoon's boat trip on Lake Maggiore, meanwhile, provides a picturesque alternative view of the city and its beautiful surroundings from the water.

Verzasca Dam

Built in the nineteen-sixties, the Verzasca Dam's claim to fame is that it was the location for the reputed 'greatest stunt in film history', when James Bond leapt from it in the opening sequence of the film 'Goldeneye'. Brave visitors can recreate the stunt for themselves by bungee-jumping from the dam, but the location is sufficiently awe-inspiring for those who only wish to spectate.

 

Pinacoteca Casa Rusca

Locarno's foremost contemporary art museum is housed in a magnificent eighteenth-century building, itself a listed Swiss Heritage Site. The collection includes paintings, sculptures and drawings dating from the end of the nineteenth century to the modern-day.

Santuario della Madonna del Sasso

Founded in 1480 by a Franciscan monk following the appearance to him of the Virgin Mary, Locarno's historic monastery is a key visitor attraction and stands on a promontory overlooking the town. Renowned for the beauty of its internal decoration, the monastery also occupies a vantage point that offers unparalleled views of Lake Maggiore and the mountains beyond.

 

Piazza Grande

Locarno's impressive central square is surrounded by historic buildings and is both the city's main shopping area and the gateway to theCittà Vecchia(Old City).

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