The best overall view of the fortifications, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is from Sasso Corbaro castle (1), recently the object of a restoration project by the architects Tita Carloni (1964) and Paola Pifferetti (2005), which can be reached following one of the aforementioned routes from the town centre. From the watch-tower at the south west corner you can enjoy a panorama that sweeps over the region from Lake Verbano (Maggiore) to the entrance of the Mesolcina and Riviera valleys. Looking down to admire Bellinzona laid out below you, you can make out the rest of our route that leads to the fortified complex of Montebello Castle (2) passing the Church of St. Sebastian in Artore (3). A walk around the castle, restored in 1972 by the architect Mario Campi (4), is like taking a trip back in time.
A short walk downhill takes you back to the town centre (the Church of St. Quirico in Daro is worth a brief detour). Walking down the steps through the ancient quarter of Motta, in no time at all you find yourself back in the medieval part of Bellinzona with the majestic presence of Castelgrande (5) towering above you. Castelgrande, the oldest of the three castles was restored in the decade 1982 -1992 by Aurelio Galfetti and today its refurbished halls house art and history exhibitions, offering a perfect setting for such events. The easiest way to reach the Castle is by taking the lift, hewn out of the live rock (6), which whisks you up from the cool shade of Piazzetta Mario della Valle to the area inside the complex (7). Alternatively you can walk up through the old lanes from Via Orico or Via Nosetto. At the Castle visitors can follow a history trail and the view from the Torre Bianca (White Tower) sweeps from the terraced gardens right down as far as Lake Maggiore, whose waters once lapped against the Murata before the land was reclaimed and the course of the River Ticino redirected. The imposing fortifications that once formed a barrage across the whole of the valley, now provide direct access to the recreational area by the river where several academic institutions are also situated. This is the starting point for a walk in the “Golena” (flood water bed) created after the river was redirected.
Walking southwards and crossing the bridge in Via Tatti, you come to Monte Carasso site of the former Augustinian Convent (8), which represents the focal point of the urban redevelopment project that the Town Council entrusted to the architect Luigi Snozzi. The project won several prizes (in particular the Prince of Wales award for urban design and the Wakker, both in 1993). Not far from this spot you will find the cableway station for Mornera, a convenient way to discover the hidden charms of the mountain above the village. The half-way stop is at the hamlet of Curzutt, the former village of Monte Carasso, whose ancient dwellings have been expertly restored bringing new life to this area around the splendid Church of St. Bernard (9). Fairly easy hiking paths lead from Mornera to the mountain hamlets or “monti” above Carasso and then back into town along the river banks of the Ticino (La Golena).
1 Sasso Corbaro Castle
2 Church of St. Sebastian of Artore
3 Complex of Montebello Castle
4 Museum of Montebello
7 Lift to Castelgrande
8 Augustinian Convent, Monte Carasso
9 Church of St. Bernard, Monte Carasso
Key figures for the last 12 months (since September 2015)
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Compared with all other Hiking tours in the Ticino region
Tour history (B01505)
First published: Donnerstag, 24. April 2008
Last updated: Montag, 18. Mai 2015
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