Locarno Lakeside Promenade
During springtime, lawns that run along the Locarno Bay transform into a multitude of colours and the lakeshore is seized by tourists on a quest to find the sun. Leaving the Locarno pier to the South, in about 15 minutes you reach the Parco delle Camelie (Park of the Camellias). Presenting about 900 varieties of this same plant, it offers a spectacular scene of flowers in bloom over a period of 9 months, but especially between March and April. If you go in the opposite direction from the pier, a pedestrian street along the lake leads you to Tenero through Rivapiana, where old and well-preserved fishermen's houses still stand.
The Park of the Camellias
Going along the big port of Locarno and the beautiful modern construction housing the Lido and the wellness centre Termali Salini & Spa – a true paradise for those that love the aquatic world recently enriched by – you reach the Park of the Camellias, inaugurated in 2005 and awarded the prize "Gardens of Excellence" by the International Camellia Society. Every year at the beginning of spring, a large exhibit celebrates this flower.
Itinerary: Locarno Lakeside Promenade (1.5h, see map)
The walk that from Locarno leads to Tenero, pleasant and leveled, is a tourists' favourite. From the pier you first walk along the lakeside of Muralto through blooming aisles and a beautiful Mediterranean vegetation, continuing then – still along Lake Maggiore – to Rivapiana. This neighbourhood has a handful of houses decorated by frescoes and characterized by a high tower of the San Quirico church. Of Romanesque origin, it is in a beautiful location accessible from the lakeside through a signposted passage; inside, fragments of a fresco are preserved. Located next to the church (on the western side) and surrounded by a nice park is Villa San Quirico, a building from the 1930s and now owned by the town of Minusio.
Continuing along the lakeshore you reach the Ca’ di Ferro (Iron House), an imposing building from the 1500s historically used as barracks with many chimneys and barred windows. The walk proceeds to Mappo, where the communal port of Minusio is located and where a vast camping area starts.
At this point you can continue on foot to Tenero's railway station and return to Locarno by train. You can also take the underpass next to the large parking lot to reach the bus stop, or take the same pedestrian route in the opposite direction. Along the way you will find two good restaurants with a spectacular panorama: Giardino Lago and L'Approdo.