What You Need To Know
Ascona is Switzerland’s lowest lying town. It is located at 196 meters above sea level on the northern shore of Lago Maggiore, also called Lake Langen. Ascona is famous for its mild climate, its Old Town and a lake promenade which is dotted with street cafés and boasts a Latin ambience.
The perfect region for your holidays between mountain and lake. Trips, congresses, families, small and big events, culture, outdoor excursions, fun and relaxation in Ascona Locarno and surroundings.
Population: 5,515 (2016)
- The Swiss franc (CHF) is the only official currency in Switzerland. The franc is the only currency accepted everywhere. The Euro is the currency in the neighboring countries Germany, France, Italy and Austria, and in many other European countries.Nevertheless, you can pay with Euros in many shops, hotels, rail stations and gas stations in Switzerland. This is convenient if you’re only in transit or only stay for one night. Many smaller shops, market stalls, kiosks, etc. only allow payment in Swiss francs. Note that the Euro is a foreign currency in Switzerland, so accepting it results in extra costs and risks for shop owners. Therefore, if you pay with Euros, change will be in Swiss francs and the exchange rate is mostly not in your favor. For longer stays, it is cheaper and more convenient to have Swiss francs at hand.
- Credit cards and debit cards are widely accepted, so there is no need to have large amounts of cash at hand. You can pay larger amounts by cards and take along some cash for smaller payments and places that do not accept cards.Swiss francs can be obtained from ATM’s. They are available in all towns, and you usually find them at the post office, rail station and shopping center. In general this is the cheapest way to obtain cash. Your bank can provide exact fees. To save time upon arrival, it can be handy to purchase some Swiss francs before you depart.Your bank may charge fees for both cash withdrawal through ATM’s and credit/debit card payments.
In Ascona, the climate is temperate, with cold (but not freezing) winters, and warm summers, in which there’s a good amount of sunshine, but also quite frequent thunderstorms.
In the cold half of the year, the wind is generally weak or non-existent, except when the favonio (or föhn) blows, the warm and dry wind that comes down from the Alps and is able to bring clear skies and very good visibility. On the other hand, during the warm semester, the wind is weak or moderate and follows the breeze regime: during the warmest hours the breeze blows from the lake towards the mountains (therefore, from the south), while after sunset and at night it blows from the mountains to the lake (therefore from the north).
From December to February, is cold enough, but it is milder than in the major cities of Switzerland, and even than in the Po Valley, because of the warming influence of the lake. Fog is less frequent as well.
There’s no shortage of rainy days, even though winter is the least rainy season. Snow generally falls at least once every year, and sometimes can be abundant, but tends to melt soon enough, because it occurs in southerly winds conditions.
From June to August, is warm, and often sunny in the morning. The temperature is generally pleasant or at least bearable, besides the lake breeze blows. Sometimes an Atlantic front, able to bring some cool and rainy days, can pass; more often, thunderstorms can break out in the afternoon or in the evening.
Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks Italian (66.0%), with German being second most common (23.9%) and Serbo-Croatian being third (2.5%). Of the Swiss national languages (as of 2000), 1,189 speak German, 112 people speak French, 3,289 people speak Italian, and 10 people speak Romansh. The remainder (384 people) speak another language.
The culture in Ascona and in its country of Switzerland is something of a hybrid of the many larger countries which surround it. In Ascona several different languages are used and can be heard at any given time including French, Italian, German and English. Spanish and Portuguese can also be heard on occasion. Most of the city’s official signs and publications are in two or more of these languages usually, but not always, including English.
Health and security
- The Swiss healthcare system is globally known as an outstanding model, with among the highest amount of healthcare expenditure in the world after the US. Swiss healthcare combines public, subsidised private and totally private healthcare systems to create an extensive network of highly qualified doctors (many of them from elsewhere in the EU) and Swiss hospitals, the best equipped medical facilities and no waiting lists – but it all comes at a price.Switzerland’s healthcare system derives a significant portion of funding from mandatory Swiss health insurance premiums (averaging around EUR 450 per month) and out-of-pocket payments, meaning there is no free healthcare in Switzerland. In line with the high cost of living in Switzerland, Swiss health insurance equals around 10 percent of the average Swiss salary.
- In 2014 the crime rate, of the over 200 crimes listed in the Swiss Criminal Code (running from murder, robbery and assault to accepting bribes and election fraud), in Ascona was 64.4 per thousand residents, slightly lower than the national average (64.6 per thousand). During the same period, the rate of drug crimes was 5.5 per thousand residents. This rate is lower than average, only 48.2% of the rate in the district, 62.5% of the rate in the canton and 55.6% of the national rate. The rate of violations of immigration, visa and work permit laws was 1.7 per thousand residents. This rate is lower than average, 47.2% of the rate in the canton and 34.7% of the rate for the entire country.
- Switzerland is not a member of the European customs union. On the one hand that gives you the opportunity to buy real tax-free goods at airports when you are travelling from and to Switzerland. On the other hand there are tight restrictions on the goods you can take free of customs duty from Switzerland to your country. For EU-countries the following customs and tax allowances apply (for other countries check with the according customs authorities):Tobacco: 200 (50 to some countries) cigarettes or 100 (20) cigarillos or 50 (10) cigars or 250 gr (50) of smoking tobacco.
Alcohol: 1 litre of spirits over 22% vol or 2 litres of spirits with less than 22% vol, 4 litres of still wine, 16 litres of beer.
Other goods: Max. value of all goods: 430 euros for air travellers and 300 euros for other travellers.Goods over these limits must be declared when entering a EU-country, additional taxes and VAT may apply.
- Switzerland is known as one of the more expensive countries to visit in Europe, and visitors are advised to choose their dinners wisely. However, responsible planning can help you avoid paying too much. While a three-course meal with wine will cost you more than 40 Swiss francs per person, you can have sandwiches that will cost you no more than eight francs. Also, remember that in Switzerland, most restaurant bills include service. Unless service is exceptional, there is no need to add any further server tip. However, visitors should be aware that the credit card bills leave open the ability to tip. If you’re not paying attention, you may end up paying far more for the meal than you realized.
- The valleys of Centovalli are more than happy to welcome you and amaze you during your time at Centovalli. Yes, there are one hundred beautiful valleys at Centovalli (Centovalli literally means Hundred Valleys). That’s why when you are in Ascona, you should pay a visit to this site. You can take the train to get to Centovalli. Along the way, you will be presented with the magnificent views of the valleys.
- The Old Town of Ascona is forever a charm. A large number of tourists have come to the Old Town of Ascona and have been enchanted by its beauty. Explore the quiet Old Town and admire the old buildings that have been restored. Absorb every beautiful thing you can absorb in the Old Town, do not miss a thing.
- Situated between Switzerland and Italy, Lake Maggiore is the largest lake in southern Switzerland and is one of the most breathtaking lakes in the whole of Europe. Take your time and enjoy the panorama of Lake Maggiore. The climate here is always mild, which makes it a perfect destination to be visited all year round. You will be able to see the Meditteranean vegetation, such as palm trees, along the shores of Lake Maggiore.
- Consisting of two amazing islands, with one island located near Lake Maggiore and another one in Brissago, the Brissago Islands house a botanical park that belongs to the Canton of Ticino. The Brissago Islands are covered with exotic subtropical vegetation, which makes an excellent place for relaxation. Take a boat ride to the Brissago Islands and enjoy the pleasant trip along the way.