Bellinzona and upper Ticino, Escursionisti, 026
The regions of Bellinzona and Upper Ticino are worth more than just a fleeting visit. For the receptive and curious traveller there is so much to discover: steep and winding valleys, high blue skies and famous peaks stretching to infinity.Then there is the river, snaking its way across the green valley floor, sometimes peaceful, sometimes like a tiger in a gilded cage.This treasure casket of natural beauty is there for the taking only if you are able to conjure up the key by breathing in the fragrance of the earth. With almost female fickleness, this region, so rich in history and tradition if only one reaches out to touch it, provides a tranquil haven for the spirit, whilst shamelessly accommodating futuristic civil engineering construction sites. It is a region that is serious enough to be home to cutting-edge scientific research, but frivolous enough to let its hair down during the centuries old Carnival celebrations, when colourful costumes and masks fill the streets or animate the Ambrosian processions. Each season brings with it some new delight: hiking along ancient paths, skiing down immaculate white slopes, the awakening of nature in spring and the warm and bountiful autumns. A region to savour seated at wooden tables under ancient chestnut trees at a traditional "grotto", where the rocky hillside affords some cool respite from the sun and where the proprietor will serve you locally produced cold cuts and wines, and jealously guarded specialities. A region, however, where a more noble culinary tradition also flourishes for the delectation of more refined palates.A region whose earth is bathed by thousands of streams and produces the precious liquid nectar that makes its way into the wine cellars Bellinzona and upper Ticino, where it feels good to be alive.