93. From Bellinzona to Magadino and Locarno.
Comp. Map, p. 374.
Ditigen ce to Magadino twice daily in 13J4 hr. (2 fr.), in correspondence
with the steamboats on Lago Maggiore; to Locarno twice daily in 2'|4 hrs.
The lower Valley of the Ticino is a broad, grassy, and
partially wooded plain, to which the mountains, although distant,
form an imposing background. The soil is well cultivated , and
the hills are covered with vines; but the low ground is marshy
At Cadenazzo (751') the road to Magadino diverges to the
W. from that leading S. to Lugano over Monte Cenere (p. 368).
9'/2 M. Magadino (Bellevue, at the steamboat pier), consist¬
ing of two villages, the Upper and Lower, lies on the N. bank
of Lago Maggiore, at the mouth of the Ticino, in a marshy
district, and was seriously damaged by an inundation in 1872.
Steamboats on the Lago Maggiore, see p. 374.
The road from Bellinzona to Locarno crosses the Ticino by
a long bridge (p. 85). It passes Monte Carasso, which affords a
good survey of the mountains on the 1. bank, of Monte Cenere,
the ancient town of Bellinzona, and the snowy heights of the
Alps. Then (3 M.) a bridge over the Sementina, issuing from
a gorge. Near the Bridge of Verzasca, where the road ap¬
proaches the lake (3 M. from Locarno), the scenery becomes
12 M. Locarno (682') (*Corona, on the lake; *Albergo
Snizzero, in the upper part of the town; Caffe dell' Unione,
on the lake), one of the three capitals (2667 inhab.) of the
Canton of Tioino, and a town of thoroughly Italian character,
although politically Swiss, lies on the W. bank of Lago Maggiore,
at the mouth of the Maggia. Citron and orange trees, the
vine hanging in festoons from the plane-tree, elms and poplars,
the graceful campanili, the pretty chapels on the hills, and the
azure lake, all tell of the land of which it is no exaggeration
to say in the poet's words:
'Thy very weeds are beautiful, thy waste
More rich than other climes' fertility'.
In the 14th cent. Locarno numbered 5000 inhab., and was a
very prosperous town. In 1553, a decree of the intolerant Rom.
Cath. inhabitants banished those of their fellow-citizens who had
espoused the Reformed faith. A number of the wealthiest of the
latter repaired to Zurich, where they established the silk-manu¬
factories which flourish to this day. Amongst the emigrants
were the influential families of the Orelli, Muralto, etc.
The Collegiate Church contains a few good pictures. The
handsome Government Buildings are situated in a large 'piazza'
and public garden. The pilgrimage church of *Madonna del