Taste of Ticino
May 21-23 2021
(in case of bad weather some events/timings may change)
Friday, May 21
Hotel Internazionale Bellinzona,
Viale Stazione 35, 6500 Bellinzona
Please let Marc know of your estimated arrival time by Wednesday, May 19.
Unless otherwise arranged, pay for your stay directly at the hotel.
Free and easy afternoon exploring Bellinzona centre. See information below on recommended sights/activities. Your stay includes The Ticino Card, which offers free public transport and other benefits. See here.
Meet Marc and the rest of your adventurous group for a complimentary glass of wine/beer. You will be briefed on the tour and any updates.
Free and easy evening. Terrace restaurant recommendations below.
Note, only hotel guests can dine at the in-house restaurant, reservation required.
Saturday, May 22
Breakfast at the hotel restaurant
Meet in the lobby before we set off to the Bellinzona Market & wine-tasting at Spazio dei Sensi address: Viale Stazione 16, 6500 Bellinzona
wine-tasting Group 1
wine-tasting Group 2
wine-tasting Group 3
Note, due to space/current Covid conditions, the wine-tasting will be done in smaller groups. Group members may explore the market when not at their session.
Meet back at the hotel lobby.
Depart in private mini-bus to Southern Ticino/Mendrisio.
Arrive Domaine Agriloro
Enjoy a classic Ticinese lunch of charcuterie and cheese during our private hosted wine-tasting, near the sun-drenched slopes of Mendrisio. We will also take part in a cellar tour and taste the varied styles of wine being crafted at this large organic wine producer.
Arrive lake-side city of Lugano
Take your time wandering the alleyways of Lugano and its market.
Transfer to Grotto Descanso
We journey to this out-of-the-way grotto restaurant, built into the mountains surrounding Lugano. Partake in an aperitif together before dinner with a sunset backdrop.
Expected arrival back at Bellinzona
Sunday, May 23
Breakfast at the hotel restaurant
Guests departing May 23, please check-out and store your luggage with the hotel concierge.
Culture and Castles Walk
All guests meet in the lobby before we head out for our morning walk visiting the two lesser known fortresses: Montebello and Sasso Corbaro. Marc will take you back through time to the founding of Bellinzona as we ascend to the smallest of the city's three ancient castles.
Group lunch with wine-pairing
We celebrate the flavours and Tastes of Ticino in this specially curated 4-course lunch with unique wines from across the wine region.
Approximate time to return to hotel.
Guests departing Bellinzona that afternoon may do so in your own time.
Other guests are free and easy to explore the rest of Bellinzona/Ticino.
Note, unfortunately due to current Covid measures, the Cave Ouvertes wine event has been postponed until July.
Optional excursion: Ascona and lakeside dinner at Restaurant Collinetta.
Travel by train/bus using your Ticino Card.
If you're keen to join this excursion and/or dinner please inform Marc no later than Wednesday May 19, so he can make the initial booking.
Monday, May 24
Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.
Check-out of hotel at your leisure.
Guests departing Bellinzona may do so in your own time.
Optional excursion: Tibetan Bridge hike (weather dependent).
Travel by bus using your Ticino Card.
Those keen to join this excursion please inform Marc on Friday, May 21. He will organise the transfers to/from.
COVID MEASURES / REQUESTS
The safety and well-being of all those participating in this private experience, is of utmost importance. Due to the current Covid rules in place we ask you to do the following to maximise your enjoyment while in Ticino.
If you/partner have received dose 1 and/or 2 of a Covid vaccine, please let Marc know here.
If you are not vaccinated at all, we request you do a Covid self-test, 36 hours before your arrival in Bellinzona. These free kits are available to all Swiss residents. They are stocked at pharmacies and testing clinics. More information here.
If you have any flu-like symptoms or fever up to 36 hours before your arrival in Bellinzona, please let Marc know immediately 078 670 5593
DURING THE TOUR
Please wear a mask while travelling in the mini-bus and other small/closed spaces.
Sanitise your hands whenever entering new spaces/environments.
Marc will have sanitiser on-hand throughout the tour.
Keep a 1.5 metre distance in public places whenever possible.
AFTER THE TOUR
Please inform Marc immediately if you become unwell in the week following the tour.
Unvaccinated guests, it is recommended you take a free Covid self-test on your return from Bellinzona.
Do not hesitate to reach out with any questions. Bonne courage!
FOOD AND ACTIVITIES RECOMMENDATIONS
Click on the links for tried and tested dining inspirations and other things-to-do, when you're exploring the Bellinzona region in your own time.
Explore the tower and grounds of the Grand Castle of Bellinzona: Castelgrande.
Museo Villa dei Cedri, garden and art museum.
Hike to the majestic Tibetan Bridge above Monte Carasso. Accessible by foot/partial bus/cable car (3.5 hours round trip)
Hike through the forests to the Monastery of Santa Maria in Claro, 15 mins drive from Bellinzona (2 hour round trip).
Visit the awe-inspiring Verzasca Dam (Goldeneye Dam) above Locarno, 30 mins drive / 45 mins train/bus from Bellinzona.
See the Ticino Card site for more places of interest.
Grotto San Michele, Castelgrande (main castle), on the terrace above Bellinzona centre.
Restorante Croce Federal, covered terrace, Bellinzona centre.
Grottino Ticinese, garden dining in Bellinzona west.
Pedemonte, Swiss and Italian cuisine, Bellinzona centre.
Antica Osteria del Carlin, small and exclusive eatery in Claro 15 mins north of Bellinzona.
Lo Scugnizzo, pizza and pasta, covered terrace near the river.
What to wear?
Comfy and relaxed clothing is suitable for the tour.
Comfy walking shoes are advised for the duration of the tour
Due to safety, open-toe shoes are not permitted when inside the wine production areas.
A light jacket or weatherproof pullover is advised.
Ticino has a Mediterranean climate and weather, it can rain suddenly.
Bring a fold-away/small umbrella, just in case.
Sunblock may also be handy for when outdoors.
The latest weather updates can be accessed here.
Wine can be purchased/taken at the domains we visit. Check with Marc on group shipping and solutions.
Marc will keep a note of all wines tasted at restaurants also, in case you want to follow up after the tour experience.