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Hiking up through the vineyards to the church in Artore
View North into the Leventina from the church in Artore
Castello di Sasso Corbaro viewed from below
View over the Magadino Plain from the tower at Sasso Corbaro
View of the other two Bellinzona Castles from the tower at Sasso Corbaro
Heading down to Castello di Montebello, you walk toward the yellow chruch
Castello di Montebello
Castelgrande as seen on the descent from Castello di Montebello
Entering through the gate into Castelgrande
From Castelgrande, the view over old town Bellinzona up to the other two fortresses
Bellinzona - Artore - Castello di Sasso Corbaro - Castello di Montebello - Castel Grande - Bellinzona
Published/updated on 03.05.2019 by GabrielleMerk | 25801 points | Date of Tour: 11.04.2015 | Favourite Entries (1)
The focus of this easy 2-hour hike is the three castles of Bellinzona: Castelgrande, Castello di Montebello and Castello di Sasso Corbaro, which together with the city walls of Bellinzona were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in...
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The focus of this easy 2-hour hike is the three castles of Bellinzona: Castelgrande, Castello di Montebello and Castello di Sasso Corbaro, which together with the city walls of Bellinzona were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 2000. These castles have dominated this strategic location at the junction of the Gotthard and San Bernardino routes since the 4th century when the fortresses were built to protect Northern Italy from invading Allemanic tribes.
This tour starts at the Bellinzona train station and after an uphill climb on a terraced trail past the distinctive yellow church in Artore (highly visible from the train station below) you first reach the smallest of the three castles: Castello di Sasso Corbaro, which currently contains a restaurant and a museum. The location offers some gigantic views of the Leventina Valley, the Magadino Plain, and the best view of the two other castles below.
Downhill along the paved roads and through vineyards you reach the most accessible and interesting of the three: Castello di Montebello, where you can walk the ramparts and admire the construction of the drawbridge.
A set of stone steps at the lower end of the city walls takes you back to the main piazza in Bellinzona, from where you ascend to the final and largest of the three castles: Castelgrande, before returning along the main pedestrian street back to the station.
You have to pay access to the museum at the Castello di Sasso Corbaro in order to go up the tower // If you don't want to walk up to the first castle, there is a bus that runs every couple of hours from the Bellinzona station.
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Detailed map with traced route on SwissMobility map, including elevation profile
I did this tour the other way round to ensure that I got to the largest castle by the train station early on to try to avoid tourists in my photos as much as possible. Walking up the stairs to the top of the tower is great for views over Bellinzona. The 3rd castle at the top is worth the effort, again for the views & nice food. Note that the SBB often has a Combo offer on for the museums (which are not that great).
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