On 9 August 2021, I made a day-trip to Bellinzona from Z
ürich, via train through the Gotthard Base Tunnel, to see it’s three castles and the surrounding area in Ticino (which is the only Italian-speaking canton in Switzerland).
Looking up at Castelgrande, one of three castles in Bellinzona which helped protect the vital passage through Ticino Valley (that is, until wide use of cannons in warfare made their walls obsolete); all three castles and their defensive walls are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The two towers of Castelgrande seen from the inner ward; this site has been fortified since at least the 1st-century BC; however, the left tower, which is known as Torre Bianca (“white tower”), dates back to the 13th-century AD.
Palazzo Civico Municipio Bellinzona.
The inner courtyard of the Palazzo Civico Municipio Bellinzona.
The obelisk in the Piazza Indipendenza in Bellinzona.
View of Castelgrande and Chiesa Collegiata dei SS Pietro e Stefano in Bellinzona.
The inner and outer walls of Montebello Castle.
Tower and gate to the inner bailey of Montebello Castle.
Montebello Castle which was built before 1313 AD, but heavily renovated in the 20th-century.
Looking north from part of the wall that forms Sasso Corbaro Castle.
Sasso Corbaro Castle, which dates back to the 15th-century AD.
Looking southwest from Sasso Corbaro Castle.
Looking north from Sasso Corbaro Castle.
View of Bellinzona with Castelgrande and Montebello Castle, seen from Sasso Corbaro Castle.
Church of Saint Sebastian.
The entrance and drawbridge to Montebello Castle.
Castelgrande, seen from Montebello Castle.
The main tower in Montebello Castle.
The city wall and castles Montebello and Sasso Corbaro, seen from the east tower of Castelgrande.
The buildings in Castelgrande, seen from the east tower.
The west tower in Castelgrande.
Looking at the valley split into two northeast of Bellinzona.
The grass carpeted defensive wall extending out from Castelgrande.
Vineyards planted next to the Castelgrande.
Looking back at the towers of Castelgrande from the defensive wall.
Ponte della Torretta (“Tower Bridge”), a historic bridge that once crossed the Ticino River, but has since collapsed.
Passerella Bellinzona-Monte Carasso, a bridge for pedestrians and cyclists above the Ticino River.
San Bernardo Church in the distance.
San Bernardo Church, which dates from the mid-1300s.
Trail through the woods above Monte Carasso.
Ponte Tibetano Carasc, a Tibetan-style bridge suspended 130 meters above the Sementina Gorge.
Walking the Ponte Tibetano Carasc.
SS. Trinità Church, perched above Sementina Creek.
Verzasca Dam (also known as “Contra Dam” and “Locarno Dam”); it was completed in 1965 AD and now hosts a 220 meter bungee jump (currently the third highest commercial bungee jump in the world).
Lago di Vogorno – the reservoir created by the Verzasca Dam.
View of the Verzasca Dam, from its western edge.
Bottom of the Verzasca Dam.
Looking down after having just completed the first level of ‘GoldenEye 007’ on live-action mode.