InterRail #4: An Afternoon in Ascona

So as mentioned in my previous post (Lovely lakeside Locarno) after we had completed the long train journey from Freiburg and safely arrived in Locarno, we decided to make the most of the afternoon and jump on the bus to nearby town Ascona.

Top Tip: The local bus (Number 1 or 316) to Ascona departs every 15 minutes from either the train station or from by the tourist information centre. The trip takes about 15 mins and costs just 2,30 for a single journey. Bargain!

The bus dropped us off at the Post Office in Ascona  and although initially unsure of our bearings, we soon were on track and heading down quaint stone-walled lanes lined with palm trees, towards the old town and the lakeside.

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The old part of the town is definitely maze-like and it would be easy to lose oneself exploring the small lanes, streets and alleyways.

The combination of natural stone, brightly painted plaster on the houses and the golden hues of the warm sunshine made Ascona very atmospheric and I couldn’t help myself from taking a great number of photos. Don’t worry I won’t bombard you with them all, but here are a few .. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that this little place is truly worth paying a visit to!

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Parish Church of Ss. Pietro e Paolo


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We eventually made it down to the lake front where we were met by some mid-afternoon haze over the lake itself and the glare of sunshine reflecting off the placid waters. We strolled along the front,admiring the little boats and investigating the market stalls, which were slowly being dismantled at the end of the day. We also couldn’t resist the small shops which were selling one or two bits and pieces which caught my eye. Such a shame that I was restricted to a small suitcase!

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Ascona even had a few wise words to offer..

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.. Very true!

We continued our walk along the harbour front, past the bustling restaurants and cafes, to the far end where we found ourselves in a small park and sat for a while looking out at our surroundings, the lake immediately in front of us and the snow-capped mountains providing the perfect backdrop. After all that walking and the tempting food in the restaurants we had passed, we felt that it was time to search for a suitable hostelry and treat ourselves to dinner.

For anyone who has travelled to Switzerland, you will know how absolutely, ridiculously expensive food, or anything really, can be. As nice as the lakeside eateries appeared, the prices were more than we were willing to pay (I mean 25 CHF for one pizza?!) and so we headed back to the less touristy part of town, close to where we had got off the bus.

Just off the square, opposite our bus-stop, we found a little place called La Taverna and had ourselves some very delicious pizzas which came it at around the 15 CHF mark. Thumbs up!

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Our time in Ascona was soon at an end and as we boarded the bus for the ride back to Locarno we had full tummies, happy memories and a sense of contentment.