February 22nd 2013






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Region 7 - Ticino and Upper Italy Lakes


overview map of Region 7The region south of the San Bernardino Pass and east of the Simplon Pass carries already strong contrasts if you look to the land, the people and the climate. Therefore this country side is one of the most thrilling ones for touring with a motorbike. In the core of this landscape you will find Lago Maggiore and Lago di Lugano with its Mediterranean climate and already the typical mindset of the Italians. You need to see certain things just a little relaxed. The importance in live here is different to what we usually undertstand.

In between you will find the Valle Maggia, Centovalli and Valle Cannobina. But the top is when you ride up at Pieve Vergonte to Macugnaga, park your motorbike in the small village Staffa, jump onto the cable chairlift which will easily carry you up to 2,000m/6,562ft to the Monte Rosa glacier. Just enter the beer garden of the diary up here and enjoy a lovely Italian pasta. You may never will have the chance to come so close to Monte Rosa on this convenient way ever again.

We can recommend here in this section several outstanding, easy to ride, day tours. Whereby “easy” means from a time of view - no hurry, but not so easy riding based on the alpine structure of the pass roads. A day tour could be starting off in Locarno in the direction of the Centovalli. Through Centovalli across the Simplon Pass on where you will reach a motorbike meeting point a bit down on the north side of the Simplon Pass in Ganterwald (N46.28291 E8.03740), where you can have a delicious lunch with local Swiss cuisine. Great location with terrace, beer garden and endless view down into the Valais valley. Then take a right down in Brig and ride up the Upper Valais (Goms) and back across the Furka Pass and the Gotthard Pass to Locarno.

Although we change borders here very often from the canton of Ticino Switzerland over to Italy, the mentality is, as mentioned above, usually relaxed Italian, but hectic. If you attach here to a typical Western European or American driving style, you will quickly become frustrated when being overtaken left and right by scooters and motorbikers in t-shirts and slippers. Here the law of the rapid advancement is valid, no honking, no stress, just naturally. But be aware in Switzerland. Here only 80 km/h is allowed on Kanton roads and the police does frequently perform radar controls at Monte Ceneri, since the road is wide and tourist often believe that’s then the space for racing.

Several tour magazines like the "Alpentourer" or portals such as "Bikerbeds" offer a wealth of accommodation in the region.The following examples are therefore to be regarded only as our own opinion.


Panoramahotel Tabor

Located above Locarno very on a quiet hillside with great views down to Lago Maggiore. Rooms with bathroom, radio and Sat-TV. Parking lots for motorbikes. Recommendet by:
Alpentourer Magazine

Double bedroom incl. breakfast starting at SFR CHF 62,-
half course at SFR 94,-

CH-6605 Locarno-Monti/Ticino

GPS N46°10’32” E008°46’53”


Hotel La Rocca****

Upscale quality level. All rooms with bathroom, cable-TV, telephone, minibar. Guided tours. Excellent local Ticino cuisine. Chef drives himself motorbike. Dream views across the Lago Maggiore.

Double bedroom incl. breakfast starting at SFR CHF 230,-
half course at SFR 275,-

CH-6613 Porto Ronco/Ascona

GPS N46°8’23” E008°43’28”


Hotel Motel Vezia***

46 bedrooms, including 6 singles. Open air pool, table tennis, chess and mini football, motorbiker hotel and apartments up to 4 persons. Recommendet by:
Alpentourer Magazine

Double bedroom incl. breakfast starting at SFR CHF 147,-

CH-6943 Vezia/Lugano

GPS N46°1’32” E008°56’14”



Lago Maggiore

Monte Rosa

Lago Maggiore

Alpine pass name

period opened


from - to

driving time



the whole year


Santa Maria Maggiore - Ascona

42 min

32 km/19.8mls 

Lago Maggiore

the whole year


Locarno - Arona

114 min 

77 km/47.8mls 

Monte Ceneri

the whole year


Cardenazzo - Lugano

33 min

25 km/15.5mls 

Monte Rosa

the whole year


Piedimelura - Macugnaga/Staffa

45 min

32 km/19.9mls 


the whole year


Brig - Domodossola

60 min

62 km/38.5mls 

Val Cannobina

the whole year


Santa Maria Maggiore - Cannobio

32 min

27 km/16.8mls - TOP Alpen-Sites


We are member of the Alpentops 20, a platform of websites that cover travel in the Alps regions and supply significant additional information for trips in the European Alps. Owner of the site is Stephan Fennel from the agency DP Destination Publishing KG - the well known Alpentourer Magazin - which we highly recommend. The website has a translation engine for multiple languages and provides up to date information for travel in the European Alps.


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