Thanks to its location between lake and mountains, to a centre characterized by porticos, to its churches and chapels and to a park with the likes of a little paradise, Morcote has won the title of "the nicest village of Switzerland 2016". Located on the banks of Lake Lugano this inviting destination, which is also called "pearl of the Ceresio", was once a fishermen's village with houses facing the lake and porticos once used to shelter boats. It was also home to skilled artisans and artists who found their fortune far from their country but that also knew how to leave a trace of their genius in their homeland.
A walk along Morcote's lakeside gives you the chance to discover simple architectural styles sided by noble homes such as the palazzo Paleari (Paleari Palace) with a stucco-decorated facade and the Torre del Capitano (Tower of the Captain) that preserves a mullioned window and traces of frescoes.
Once you've crossed the centre and its narrow alleys, a long stairway (about 400 steps) climbs up towards the sanctuary of Santa Maria del Sasso (Saint Mary of the Rock). Along the way you will see a beautiful fountain, a few chapels and a religious building dedicated to Sant’Antonio abate (Saint Anthony the Abbot), with an extremely unique fresco depicting human souls caught in a net. The complex formed by the church Santa Maria del Sasso, by the adjacent octagonal chapel and by the monumental cemetery, enjoys an enviable panoramic location with a priceless view. In the church, built in several stages between 1470 and 1758 in Renaissance-Baroque style, you can admire frescoes from different eras, a beautiful illusionistic dome and an organ from the 1600s.
In the neighbouring Baroque chapel of Sant'Antonio da Padova (Saint Anthony of Padova) there are stuccoes and frescoes of local artists. In the cemetery, located on a steep slope, there are tombstones and chapels of artistic value.
You cannot leave Morcote without visiting the Scherrer Park, a curious twine of botanical rarities that project you to exotic places: sculptures, replicas and symbols reminding of faraway lands.