A Beautiful Image of an Historic Castle Beside Lake Maggiore
Castello Visconteo is an impressive stone palace dating from the 1400s and said to have been designed by the great master painter, Leonardo da Vinci. It is one of the most popular attractions of historic Locarno and this picture captured on a Worldwide Gifts fridge magnet makes a fantastic souvenir from Switzerland.
There are quite a few notable historic landmarks in Locarno and near Lake Maggiore. In fact, nine such locales have been named Swiss Heritage Sites of National Significance. If you are going on a historical tour of Locarno, you must of course visit the lovely Castello Visconteo, but be sure and see some of the other Heritage Sites, such as the two ancient schools.
Many people visit Locarno on a religious pilgrimage to see the Madonna del Sasso, a sanctuary founded in 1480 by a Fransiscan brother who had a vision of the Virgin Mary at this spot high in the mountains above the city. Today a gondola ride goes from Orselina, where the Madonna del Sasso is located, to a higher promontory on Cardada, and a chairlift takes you to Cimetta.
Some of the More Contemporary Attractions of Locarno
Locarno is also popular as an embarkation point for the famous Centovalli Railway, where travelers enjoy an incredibly scenic train ride high above the magnificent "Hundred Valleys" area of Switzerland and Italy. One of the beautiful spots to enjoy is the breathtaking Verzasca Dam. On some days one may even catch a glimpse of bungee jumpers hurtling from the top of the dam.
A very interesting modern attraction of Locarno is the city's amazing scale model of the solar system, which covers an area six kilometers in length next to the River Maggia. The Astrovia Locarno can be seen in its entirety by taking a ride along a bike path, or with an aerial view from the mountains high above the city.