If you’re looking for an easy one day trip from Lugano or something to impress your visitors with don’t look any further. Go visit Bellinzona.
The fortifications of Bellinzona are among the most important examples of medieval defensive architecture in the Alps, and have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the year 2000.
Our son loves trains so we had to take Artú, the tourist train that goes up from the city centre to Castello Sasso Corbaro and then to Montebello and back to the city. The train stops only 15 minutes in each castle. Its just enough time to see it from outside, make pictures but you don’t have time to explore it any further. All the castles are reachable by car or walking/hiking.
Sasso Corbalo castle is named after the hill on which it stands and was completed in only six months. This is all the information i gathered from our brief 10 minutes stop.
Montebello castle located on a rocky hilltop east of town is connected to Castelgrande by the city walls. Definitely will have to come back to explore the castle further
Back in Bellinzona we climb the stairs from la Collegiata to the Castelgrande. If you have a stroller and don’t want to carry it up the stairs and narrow streets I’ve read that there is an elevator that can take you to the castle grounds.
The site of Castelgrande has been fortified since at least the late 1st century BC. Running from the castle, a series of walls protect the ancient town and block the passage through the valley. There is a free access to one part of the city walls and its worth the walk. You can even visit the tunnels bellow the city walls.