Ascona Arch Misty mountains, Locarno Swimming in the Maggia, Locarno Terrace, Lake Maggiore, Ascona Looking up in Ascona Sunset in Ascona Ascona Graffiti Bridge Ascona, Europe, Gallery, SwitzerlandAscona After two pandemic years of confinement, Murat and I took our first out-of-town trip, to Ascona in the southern part of Switzerland. Here, in the canton of Ticino, Italian is the official language. Ascona’s architecture, foodways, and lifestyle are heavily influenced by the Italian heritage of the region. There is life in the streets until the late hours of the night. It’s very unlike Bern, and I enjoy the contrast. Ascona borders Lake Maggiore, a long narrow blue jewel fed by the Alps and flowing from Switzerland into Italy. The lake on the Swiss side is pristine and a pleasure to swim in, as are the rivers that feed the lake. The landscape is green and lush, with an unusual mix of palms and pines. It’s full of color—even the buildings in town are bright and cheery.