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Locarno is the capital of the Locarno district, located on the northern tip of Lake Maggioremarker (Lago Maggiore) in the Swissmarker canton of Ticinomarker, close to Asconamarker at the foot of the Alpsmarker. It has a population of about 15,000 (60'000 for the urban area including Asconamarker). The official language of Locarno is Italian.It is the 74th biggest city in Switzerland by population and the 3rd biggest of the canton Ticinomarker, after Luganomarker and Bellinzonamarker.

An important film festival, the Locarno International Film Festival, takes place every year in August in the Piazza Grande.

The Locarno Treaties were negotiated here in 1925.

In January 2004, the Italianmarker historian Marino Vigano speculated that Locarno's castle may have been designed by Leonardo da Vinci.

Main sights

Madonna del Sasso.
Castello Visconteo.

Locarno has a number of interesting sights that draw tourists year-round.

Astrovia Locarno

The Astrovia Locarno is a 1 : 1,000,000,000 scale model of the Solar System. The Sun can be found at the end of Via Gioacchino Respini where the cycle path, which runs alongside the river, starts. Pluto, the final planet in the model, can be found 6 km away from this starting point in the village of Tegna.

Madonna del Sasso, Cardada and Cimetta

The sanctuary of Madonna del Sasso in Orselinamarker above the city is the principal sight and goal of pilgrimage in the city.

The founding of the sanctuary goes back to a vision of the Virgin Mary that the Franciscan brother Bartolomeo d'Ivrea experienced in the night of 14/15 August 1480. The interior is highly decorated, and a platform gives a magnificent view of the city.

A gondola runs from Orselina to the top of Cardadamarker (el. ), and a chair lift goes further to the top of Cimettamarker (el. ).

Castello Visconteo

Castello Visconteo on the edge of the old town was built in the 12th century, probably as the residence of a Captain Orelli, who remained true to the Emperor. In 1260, it fell into the hands of the Ghibellines. In 1342 the Visconti of Milanmarker, for whom it is now named, attacked the castle from both the land and the lake side and took it. It first came into the hands of the Eidgenossen in 1503. Today, only a fifth of the original structure remains. Most of that dates from the 15th and 16th centuries. Only the foundation remains from the original structure.



See also

External links

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