The Italian flair of Switzerland. The Mediterranean region seems to begin on the southern side of the Alps. There is a feel of Italy, with palm trees, clean beaches and lanes and alleyways leading to piazzas and churches. But the Alps are always close by. Mountain tours that start in snow, ice and rock, end in balmy chestnut forests. Gentian blooming on Alpine pastures and wooded hills contrast with rich camellia on lakeshore promenades. Downhill ski runs with a breathtaking view of deep-blue Lakes Maggiore and Lugano. That’s Ticino, a secret tip for all those who wish to combine winter sports with the flair of the city, complete with a southerly ambience. If you want la dolce vita, search no more – it is waiting for you in the numerous sub-tropical parks and gardens. If you crave excitement, take a whitewater ride. And if you prefer cultural pursuits, they’re available at every turn. These romantic landscapes have always attracted poets and artists and inspired architects. A rich blend of past and future, north and south, mountains and plains, nature and culture, city and country – that’s Ticino in a nutshell.