Subject: Re: Anyone help with planning a route in Northern Italy near the Lakes?
Forwarded by Moderator (Cornelia is a personal friend and a Ziner):

Hello Fran and Mike,

I just read your e-mail regarding your future trip to Switzerland and I might be able to give you some information.

The most direct way to go from Arosa to Lugano is by crossing the Alps via San Bernardino. First you have to drive back to Chur and there you go onto the highway A13 towards San Bernardino. Till Thusis there is not much to see but from there the road starts to climb and the valley gets narrow. From my point of view it's worth to leave the highway at Viamala and continue your trip on the old road. You will get a chance to cross the Viamala Gorges. Make a stop at the restaurant and have a look into the gorge. It's very interesting. You can then continue till Zillis and there you go back to the highway.

If the weather is good enough I suggest you cross the San Bernardino pass so you get a nice view of the mountains. Otherwise there is the possibility to drive through the tunnel. After having crossed the alps you get to the Italian speaking part of Switzerland. The drive down the valley is easy and very soon you can see Bellinzona (capital of Canton Ticino) with it's nice 3 castles. Don't miss to stop there and visit Castel Grande.

>From Bellinzona to Lugano it takes only 30 minutes more by car.

I do not know if you made already some arrangements for your stay at Lugano. If not I'll be glad to help you and I could also give you some addresses of nice places to have lunch or dinner.

I live in Ticino in a village called Minusio which is near Locarno. My parents in law live in Lugano so I'm familiar with the area.

Regards, Cornelia