Bellinzona (population 20,000) isn't a ski resort but it was
on the way to Lugano and it's famous for having THREE castles.
The photo to the left was taken from the courtyard of one castle
and you can see the other nearby and if you look way up atop
the hill you'll see the third. It's a belly busting ride cycling
up to the hilltop castle but
centuries ago the views allowed
soldiers and those with look-out duties to see approaching travelers.
To understand the castles you have to know a bit of history.
Surrounded by mountainous terrain, this narrow valley was of
great strategic importance. This was a major route for travelers,
traders and their goods from Italy to the rest of Europe. This
is is a view of the second castle
located above Bellinzona. The third
castle anchors the town center and you can see that the base
was built on solid rock. All
three castles have been designated UNESCO world heritage sites.
Here's a view of two of the castles
as one comes into town.