Sun, Palms and Great Food, you'll never guess!Zurich to Locarno, by train to the southern part of Switzerland.
It was 8 ° celsius cloudy and raining heading towards the Gotthard tunnel, the longest tunnel in the world with 54 km in length, the ride took 20 minutes, and as soon a we came out of the tunnel it was bright and sunny with a temperature of 21° celsius!
Riding through the valley on the way to our first stop, Bellinzona which is on the other side of the Tunnel; we saw several waterfalls streaming from the snowy mountains.
Upon arrival in Locarno we took off our jackets as it was really warm.
We decided to walk through the narrow streets of the old part of the town when we came across an antique shop by the name of “Bellerio Antichita” ( https://bellerioantichita.wordpress.com ) where we found restored antique furniture, fine jewelry and sculptures.
This is by far the most interesting antique shop I have visited especially with its lush courtyard in the back. Luggage and Leather shop stores are abundant.
Along the lakeside promenade there are a range of restaurants with great outdoor dining and people watching!
We observed that most people strolling around town were really dressed casually chic which gave us the impression of an upscale, cosmopolitan like small town with a tropical flair!
We stopped at an Italian restaurant called Sensi ( http://www.ristorante-sensi.ch ) serving great upscale Italian fare and great outdoor dining, a perfectly cooked al dente penne with beef bolognese, arugula and reggiano cheese made my day and my palate happy, accompanied by a Boston like lettuce salad with balsamic dressing (but the lettuce leaves where left whole layered on top of each other, nice and crisp! )another dish was a Caesar type salad mixed with other greens, 4 extra jumbo grilled shrimp with mustard like dressing, not your usual caesar style but great taste and presentation, Chef Alessandro certainly got my personal compliments!
The afternoon walk along the 2 mile long lakeside promenade brought us to the gelato stand where we indulged in homemade gelato, for an afternoon cocktail we stopped at a pier that was leading to a docked ship called “Trinity Boat” ( https://www.facebook.com/TrinityBoatLocarno/ ) a floating bar and restaurant serving Continental and Mexican fare and great drinks. The pier in front of the ship was setup for a large group of 20 people for dinner and while we where enjoying our Pinot Grigio sitting on the swaying pier, with great music in the background, some of the dinner guests slowly arrived gathering around close to where we are sitting.
The wait staff started to bring appetizer plates with nachos, quesadillas, croquettes, mozzarella and arugula salad with chicken etc.
The southern hospitality became evident when the host invited us to join them in the feast including the Mojito punch sitting on the table! What a perfect setup for a birthday party.
We had a hard time to say goodby as we had to head back to catch the train, it was great just sitting along the pier looking at the beautiful glistening lake, the million dollar yachts listening to great music and enjoying the warm sun!
On the way back to the train station we stopped off at the restaurant Sensi again for espresso and to say goodby to our waiter.
Great day, beautiful town we shall be back for a long weekend! Don’t miss this glorious part of Switzerland! Put it on your bucket list!