Ascona, on the shores of Lake Maggiore, with its swaying palm trees and mild climate is Switerland's lowest lying town (at 196 meters above sea level). Joe and I strolled the lakeside promenade (Lungolago) which has a very South of France feel with its streetside cafes, warm breezes, and diners clinking wine glasses all with a backdrop of historic 19th-century merchant's houses. We walked all the way to the end and stopped at the Seven Sea Lounge, right on the promenade, with some tables underneath and beside the distinctive arches in the surrounding lake-front wall. Sitting with a drink in one of the bar's oversized all weather patio chairs was the perfect introduction to Ascona. The town, a former fishing village, has grown into a very upscale resort—known for its water sports and some of the best hotels in the country. Ascona's old town center, the Borgo, is an enchanting warren of charming alleyways and chic boutiques.
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