Treasures of Ticino

  • Sample Itinerary
  • Experiences
  • Pricing
  • Featured Hotels
  • Custom Quote

Experience the crossroad of Swiss and Italian culture on this unique expedition through Ticino as you discover majestic lakes, medieval castles and fine culinary traditions. Your adventure will take you from the quaint shores of Ascona on Lake Maggiore to the fortified walls of Bellinzona and the verdant olive path of Gandria at the foot of Mt. Bre, on this in-depth exploration of Ticinese culture.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive at Milan Malpensa airport where you will be welcomed by your private chauffeur and transported to the enchanting canton of Ticino in southern Switzerland, a region made unique by its distinctive blend of Italian and Swiss cultures. Arrive in the quaint hamlet of Ascona on the shores of Lake Maggiore for check-in to your five-star luxury hotel situated amongst lovely gardens with sweeping views of the Ticino Mountains. In the evening, dine on a chef’s tasting menu of creative Italian and Swiss inspired cuisine at your hotel’s two-Michelin starred restaurant.

Day 2

Today you will discover Ascona with a private walking tour of the town's historic center, led by your local expert. From Ascona you will embark on a stunning ferry boat ride to the Island of San Pancrazio, part of the Brissago Islands, to tour its lovely botanical gardens. Continue by ferry boat to the picturesque town of Locarno to enjoy lunch at a quaint locanda, followed by a leisurely stroll through town. In the afternoon enjoy a scenic funicular ride to Locarno’s Sacred Mountain for a visit to the revered Madonna del Sasso Sanctuary, where you’ll be inspired by its majestic views overlooking Locarno and Lake Maggiore below.

Day 3

Experience the flavors of Ticino’s Lake Maggiore region with a day spent exploring its most boutique gastronomic corners. Start the morning with a visit to a special farm and wine estate located along the Locarnese wine route. Enjoy an exclusive visit of the farm’s rice fields, vineyards and cellars, before delighting in a tasting of regional vintages accompanied by Ticenese-style charcuterie and alpine cheeses. Continue your gourmet expedition with a lunch of hearty mountain fare like polenta and roasted meats at a typical Ticinese grotto. Conclude your day of gastronomical pursuits with a visit and tasting at a small-batch winery specialized in the production of Ticino’s typical Merlot wine, as well as specialty distillations like Grappa.

Day 4

Depart Ascona and travel by chauffeur to the capital of Ticino, Bellinzona, revered for its series of three medieval castles honored as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Be welcomed by your local expert and set off on a privately guided tour of Bellinzona’s Castelgrande, Montebello and Sasso Corbaro. Stop to savor a lunch of quintessential Ticino flavors like risotto paired with the local Merlot wine, within Bellinzona’s historic city center. When your guided exploration of Bellinzona has ended, travel to your sumptuous five-star villa hotel nestled on the banks of Lugano.

Day 5

Today you will experience the elegance of Lugano with the help of your local expert. Admire the city’s pedestrian center exuding charm and conviviality, as you weave your way through Lugano’s historic arcades lined with specialty purveyors of fine gourmet goods. Be captivated by the city’s Mediterranean-style squares and refined avenues, such as the Piazza Reforma and renowned shopping street of Via Nassa. Along the way indulge in a lunch of Swiss Italian delicacies at a quaint tavern, before traveling by funicular to Mt. Bre, to marvel at exquisite views of Lugano and the lake. Return to the city by funicular before enjoying the rest of the day at your leisure.

Day 6

Appreciate Lugano’s lush natural beauty with a scenic ferry boat ride to one of the lake’s most picturesque villages, Gandria, located at the foot of Monte Bre. Depart on a privately guided walking tour of Gandria’s pedestrian only center, with its intimate passageways and petit streets affording beautiful views of the lake. Continue with a walk along the town’s panoramic olive tree footpath, before crossing the lake by ferry to Cantine di Gandria for a blissful stroll along its lakefront promenade. Savor a lunch of typical Ticinese fare at a lovely grotto with superb lake views.

Day 7

Indulge your appetite with an epicurean exploration of Ticino’s southernmost valley. Start the day by visiting a cheese farm located within the Valle di Muggio to sample Zincarlin, a typical Ticinese cow’s milk cheese only produced in the valley. Next, visit a boutique winery known for their dedication to local grape varietals and production of traditional Ticinese-style Merlot wines. After touring the winery’s vineyards, cellar and barrel aging room, you’ll enjoy a tasting of their signature vintages. Stop for a lunch of rustic wine country dishes before traveling onward to the farm of a local beekeeper to sample their organic honey and learn about the area’s artisanal honey production.

Day 8

After breakfast, depart Lugano by chauffeur for Milan Malpensa Airport in preparation for your return flight or the next leg of your adventure.

Experiences We Recommend

  • Boat ride with visit to the Island of San Pancrazio
  • Privately guided tour of Bellinzona's UNESCO designated castles
  • Panoramic funicular ride to Mt. Bre
  • Hike along the famed olive path from Lugano to Gandria
  • Scenic funicular ride to Locarno’s Sacred Mountain
  • Rice farm visit outside of Locarno
  • Small batch winery tour and tasting of Ticino's prized Merlot
  • Artisan cheese farm visit and tasting in the Valle di Muggio


The minimum trip length for a CountryBred Encounter is 5 Days/4 Nights

Pricing for our Switzerland Encounters begins at:

  • $1,000-$1.300/per person, per day* based on double occupancy and a travel party of two
Small group pricing available for travel parties of four or more

*The final price of your custom tour will be determined by your travel party size, departure dates, trip length, amount of meals included, percentage of guided time requested, cities chosen in your itinerary and signature CountryBred excursions selected. This sample itinerary can also be crafted for solo travelers.

Encounters Include

  • Stays at five & four-star boutique luxury hotels
  • Chauffeured transport for touring & transfers
  • Private touring with professional local guides
  • Engaging activities led by cultural experts
  • Signature experiences with insider access
  • Regionally authentic dining
  • Traveler Welcome Package
  • Taxes & base gratuities

Read Client Reviews

  • Gay B.

    Alentejo to Lisbon
    Above and beyond our expectations for an amazing well organized adventure for 26!!
  • Mark W.

    From Castilla to Basque Country
    Our third CountryBred travel experience guided us through the rich cultural history, food, wine & unique culture throughout central/northern Spain. Our selected experiences coupled with the region/city ambassadors throughout our trip were exceptional and made our experience GREAT! (hotels too!)
  • Barbara R.

    Getaway to Tuscany and Northern Italy
    CountryBred thought of every detail for our trip. We didn't have to think about or worry about anything because they had it all covered by professionals every step of the way. From the chauffeurs, to the private boats, to the ambassadors who were extremely knowledgeable and spoke good English, to the amazing hotels, to the selection of restaurants and wines...WOW!

Crafting the Experience

Experiential travel takes time, passion and local ingredients to make something truly special.

Read more


We turn travel inspiration into unforgettable journeys. Begin the trip design process by filling out the form below and a CountryBred specialist will contact you to get your next great adventure underway.


  • CountryBred Encounters begin at $750-$1,000/per person, per day
  • The minimum trip length for a CountryBred Encounter is 5 Days/4 Nights
  • All CountryBred Encounters are land touring experiences only and do not include airfare
  • Groups of four or more are eligible for small group pricing


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