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Ascona is a small town next to Locarno at the Lake Maggiore in Ticino.


Ascona was able to maintain its charm as a colony of artists and drop-out even as the touristy Locarno developed into a big tourist destination. Strict limitations for cars ensure that the main center of the town is car free. Its tranquil people make this town a calming and refreshing visit. The old buildings have been beautifully kept restored. Ascona is popular for day trips and boat tours to the Isolas Brissago. The Lago Maggiore cools the town in summer and ensures a Mediterranean feeling in winter.

Get in

It's possible to rent a bike in Locarno and ride over to Ascona but bus and car are the easiest was to get into the town.

By public transport

Two bus lines connect Ascona to Locarno which are run by the public transport system FART.

  • Bus 1 goes from Locarno to Ascona every 15 minutes.
  • Bus 316 goes to Brissago and stops at Ascona on the way. One trip per hour.

Get around

The town is best discovered on foot as small lanes are in general pedestrian only


  • Lake promenade
  • Bagno pubblico
  • House Serodine, Town Hall Square. Facade on three floors (1620) in Baroque style with stucco decorations Serodine of John the Baptist (1587-1626).
  • 1 Museo Castello San Materno, via Losone 10, ☎ +41 91 759 81 60, e-mail: museosanmaterno@ascona.ch. Th-Sa 10:00-12:00, afternoon variable, Su 14:00-16:00. The oldest still standing part of this castle goes back to the 6th-8th century. Today it is used as a art museum. Fr. 7/5.
  • 2 Museo Comunale d'Arte Moderna, via Borgo 34, ☎ +41 91 759 81 40, e-mail: museo@ascona.ch. Th-Sa 10:00-12:00, afternoon variable, Su 10:00-12:30. Museum of modern arts. Fr. 10/7.


  • Brissago Islands (Brissago Islands), ☎ +41 91 791 43 61, fax: +41 91 791 07 63, e-mail: decs-isole.brissago@ti.ch. Season 2013: 20 March – 28 October. The Brissago Islands, the Botanic garden of Canton Ticino, give you the wonderful opportunity to escape from the noise and confusion of frenetic modern life. Adults Fr. 8, Children (6-16) Fr. 2.50.
  • Ascona Locarno and the Magic Valley. 3-4 hours. Regional bicycle path n. 31: Tenero – Locarno – Losone – Avegno – Gordevio – Maggia.


  • JazzAscona, 3, Luini St (Tourist Office Lake Maggiore, Locarno), e-mail: info@ascona-locarno.com. latest 20th - 29th of June 2014. Jazz Ascona is one of the major world events dedicated to the classic jazz and New Orleans' Beat.
  • Musical weeks of Ascona, Tourist Office Lake Maggiore (Locarno), ☎ +41 848 091 091, fax: +41 91 759 76 94, e-mail: booking@settimane-musicali.ch. Since the founding of the Settimane Musicali of Ascona in 1946 the event represents a recurring and very much appreciated date on the annual events calendar and therefore has become an integral part of the traditions and the music entertainment panorama of the Lake Maggiore region especially and the Canton of Ticino in general.
  • Street Artists' Festival, 3, Madonna della Fontana St, fax: +41 91 791 21 02, e-mail: info@artistidistrada.ch.



  • 1 Osteria Nostrana, ☎ +41 91 791 51 58, e-mail: osteria-nostrana@ristoranti-ff.ch.



  • 1 Hotel La Perla, Ascona, Via Collina 14, ☎ +41 91 791 35 77, e-mail: hotel@laperla.ch. from Fr. 99.
  • 2 Ville La Perla, Ascona, Via Collina 14, ☎ +41 91 791 35 77, e-mail: hotel@laperla.ch. from Fr. 79.-.
  • 3 Villa Veratum, Ascona, Viale Monte Verità 16, ☎ +41 91 791 35 77, e-mail: hotel@laperla.ch. from Fr. 59.-.


Go next

  • Locarno is the next city, just across the river and offers all modes of transportation.

Book Towns: Forty Five Paradises of the Printed Word

Alex Johnson

The so-called “Book Towns” of the world are dedicated havens of literature, and the ultimate dream of book lovers everywhere. Book Towns takes readers on a richly illustrated tour of the 40 semi-officially recognized literary towns around the world and outlines the history and development of each community, and offers practical travel advice. Many Book Towns have emerged in areas of marked attraction, such as Ureña in Spain or Fjaerland in Norway, where bookshops have been set up in buildings including former ferry waiting rooms and banks. While the UK has the best-known examples at Hay, Wigtown and Sedbergh, the book has a broad international appeal, featuring locations such as Jimbochu in Japan, College Street in Calcutta, and major unofficial “book cities” such as Buenos Aires.

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