A Weekend in Bellinzona

Medieval might meets Italian style.

The city

market picmarket in Piazza Nosetto

Bellinzona is a product of its position, guarding the southern approach from Italy to the crucial trade route over the Gotthard Pass; no wonder then that the capital of Canton Ticino has three magnificent medieval castles. In the shadow of these battlements is a pretty Italianate town of sunny piazzas, grand villas and graceful churches. And once the new Gotthard train tunnel is in full operation (from mid-December), getting to Bellinzona will be faster and easier than ever.

LUXOS Recommends: Come on a Saturday for the lively market in Piazza Nosetto

The sight

1st imageBellinzona city views

The mighty castles and walls date from the 13th century, although Bellinzona has been a vital defensive position since Roman times. Of the three castles, the oldest and largest is Castelgrande, which dominates the old town from its rocky hill. Almost as impressive is Castello di Montebello, with its long curtain wall, while Sasso Corbaro is the highest and so hardest to reach.

LUXOS Recommends: Wear comfortable shoes for walking up and down the hills

The restaurant

last piccuisine of Lorenzo Albrici

Locanda Orico has been in the talented hands of Lorenzo Albrici for almost two decades but his passion for cooking began at a much earlier age. That was thanks to spending his holidays exploring his grandparents’ hotel in Graubünden. His inspired use of seasonal ingredients and his fusion of Italian and French cuisines has earnt him a Michelin star and 16 Gault & Millau points.

LUXOS Recommends: homemade squid-ink linguine with lobster and date sauce

1 Bellinzona Tourism
2 Castelgrande
3 Locanda Orico