This loop itinerary allows you to discover the three medieval castles, listed in the year 2000 as a World Heritage site. They were built by the dukes of Milan in the Fifteenth Century to stop the Confederates to the north advancing south. Indeed, Bellinzona has long represented a prime strategic location, at the crossing point of the alpine routes between North and South (Gotthard, Lukmanier, San Bernardino, Nufenen). Starting from Piazza del Sole you access the first Castle, Castelgrande, by lift, or through the little streets going up from the old centre close to Piazza Collegiata. Castelgrande boasts two tall towers and some battlements which can partially be explored on foot. It is host to a museum which explores the story of the city, as well as hosting permanent exhibitions and a restaurant. From Castelgrande you can go down the steps taking you to Piazza Collegiata; from there, on the opposite side, you can go back up the narrow street at the side of the church and reach Montebello castle, located on the hill. After your visit continue along Via Artore for a short while, then cross the stream to arrive in Via Piumerino. From here, through paths crossing vineyards, you climb up towards the village of Artore, finally reaching the sealed road again (Via alla Predella). Less than one km below, following the incline of today’s road, stand the splendid Sasso Corbaro fortifications. From this height you enjoy a stunning view over the city.
From the castle, exiting via a little door cut in the walls, you continue on downhill on the opposite side of the hill (compared to the ascent), toward Montebello. Just before the castle, the mule-track on the left takes you back to the starting point crossing one of the most authentic old centres of Ticino.
Option A: Alternative path for the return: after the Sasso Corbaro castle, follow the tarmac road and at the first fork turn left. Carry on until the bends which take you to Ravecchia, on Via Ospedale. Walk down the road alongside the Dragonato stream, ‘til the main road, Via Franco Zorzi, and turn right. Walking straight and crossing the pretty old centre of Bellinzona takes you back to Piazza del Sole.
Key figures for the last 12 months (since Oktober 2015)
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Compared with all other Hiking tours in the Ticino region
Tour history (B05169)
First published: Mittwoch, 14. März 2012
Last updated: Mittwoch, 18. März 2015
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