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Switzerland's Italian Side

This summer, Joe Diaz and I traveled to Switzerland on a ten-day trip prompted by the launch of one of AFAR’s newest ventures, AFAR Journeys, where we asked the members of AFAR’s Travel Advisory Council to create custom itineraries that allow AFAR readers to travel deeper in Switzerland. One of the most surprising areas of the country for both Joe and I was the Italian speaking southeast. Here are a few favorite highlights from that part of the trip.
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Maloja Pass, 7516 Bregaglia, Switzerland
The Swiss Post Bus Company, with its distinctive cheery yellow public buses, is the largest and best known in the country. "Post Bus" means buses stop in local towns with post offices—so you get to see a lot of the country with locals, who use the...
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Via Albarelle 16, 6612 Ascona, Switzerland
The peaceful, elegant Hotel Eden Roc enjoys an enviable location right between the mountains and the scenic Lake Maggiore in the charming Swiss village of Ascona. Interior designer Carlo Rampazzi is responsible for the retreat’s sumptuous...
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Ascona, Switzerland
Ascona, on the shores of Lake Maggiore, has swaying palm trees and a mild climate, and is Switzerland's lowest-lying town (643 feet above sea level). The lakeside promenade (Lungolago) offers a Mediterranean feel with streetside cafés, warm...
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Carved by glaciers thousands of years ago, the steep and rocky Bavona Valley in the canton of Ticino is famous for its dramatic alpine scenery as well as for the fact that there is no electricity grid there. The power in the valley is from solar...
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Gotthardbahntunnel, Switzerland
When work is complete on the Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT), travelers will be able to travel through burrowed sheer mountain rock for 35 miles in a 50-minute trip from Zurich to Milan. Until then (scheduled completion is June 2016), sections of the...