Very recently, I had the pleasure to enjoy my work perks again: I was taking a TV crew to Switzerland. It’s not a holiday, it is definitely work but the fun part of my job. I get to meet amazing people, see stunning countryside, taste delicious dishes and experience new traditions, cultures and cities.
This trip took us to a part of Switzerland that I hadn’t been before: the Italian part of Switzerland, the Ticino region. We landed in Zürich and took a more or less 4 hours train ride to Bellinzona, the capital of Ticino.
Bellinzona was our base from where we could easily reach the more famous places like Lugano, Locarno and of course Ascona. Not only is Italian the common language, everything just feels Italian.. the streets, the cuisine, the people, the names, the atmosphere.. you name it.
Bellinzona is tucked away between the mountains. The highlights are 3 castles that used to safeguard the Alps. We stayed in the beautiful Hotel Internazionale & Spa which is very conveniently located right across the railway station and on top of the “shopping mile” in Bellinzona. A special THANK YOU goes to the hotel director and his team. They were all amazing and extremely helpful. We lost a bag with some camera equipment in the middle of the night and they really did their utmost to assist.
The highlight of our culinary excursion has surely been lunch at the Grotto Castlegrande. Main course was rabbit.. I guess if we hadn’t known, it’d been OK for all of us, but since we did, I am sure that not all of us really enjoyed eating rabbit. It’s a new country, new traditions and you just have to give it a try.
The rest of the trip was less exciting from a culinary point of view. We learnt that the Swiss/ Italians like to do Aperos.. which is basically meeting in a bar after work, get together, order drinks and therefore get finger food snacks for free. This is also where we ordered Tequilla shots and we got tall glasses full of Tequilla. In one glass were probably 4 shots of Tequilla. I must compliment the guys! They did well by finishing it. (That was the same evening we lost the bag with some of the camera equipment – no one sees the correlation though).
Lugano, Locarno and Ascona are just beautiful cities right at the water of different lakes. La Dolce Vita!