Carona – a Hidden Gem in the Ticino
If you love the sun and the warm Mediterranean vibes of Ticino, chances are that you’ve already visited Lugano, Locarno or Ascona. However, there are many more beautiful destinations in the Ticino area which are just waiting to be discovered. With the new Gotthard Tunnel it now only takes 2h 8 min by train from Zurich HB to Lugano – so there really is no excuse!
One such charming location is the small, picturesque village of Carona near Lugano. Known as an artist’s hideaway it is famous for having attracted stone sculpturers, plasterers, architects and painters who have all left their imprints on the houses and churches in this tiny oasis of peace.
The village which has around 800 inhabitants was first mentioned in 926 as “Calauna” and around almost every corner there is some work of art to admire.
You can easily get there by Postbus and there is a stop right outside Lugano train station. The journey takes 20 minutes and the bus runs every half hour.
Once in Carona you can stroll along the narrow streets and admire the historical houses, many of them embellished with well preserved frescoes and painted facades.
If you choose to stay overnight you can book one of the 18 rooms of the Swiss Historic Hotel “Villa Carona” – a beautiful house dating back 200 years. One famous guest who stayed here was Herman Hesse.
We visited in April and the blossoms were every where – but each season has its own charm.
You could also have a meal at the Ristorante Posta which is situated in the village itself.
For truly amazing views of the lake and the Alps amongst beautiful flowers and plants, you should visit San Grato Park.
The park which is part of the Gardens of Switzerland Network, celebrates its sixtieth anniversary in 2017 and has an amazing collection of Azaleas, rhododendrons and conifers.
In order to make the most out of the 62,000 square meters of the park it’s a good idea to choose one of the themed walk which will take you to different corners of the park. Each route has colour coordinated sign posts.
The park is open every day and the admission is free. The best months to visit it are April and May when the Spring flowers are in full bloom but it’s a great place to visit year round.
Article and all photos by Carmen Sirboiu
Visit the San Grato Park website here.
Visit the Ristorante Post website here.
Visit the Romantic and Swiss Historic Hotel Villa Carona