For all the research that I did for this trip, months in advance, Locarno to Muralto caught me by absolutely delightful surprize. I’d scoured the interwebs and the Pinterest for some good hike ideas originating in Ascona and at one point ran out of ideas. So, I hit up my hotel concierge with my query. He directed me to Cardada mountain, which he suggested taking a series of three funiculars up to walk the two hours down. Ok, I was into it. I made it up funicular one, saw the line for two and three, noticed that three was an open air ski-lift style, and said naw, this is fine.
So, that’s how I stumbled into the absolutely stunning Madonna del Sasso, built into the mountainside after a monk saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary in the 1400’s. Who knew! The church was very cool, totally frescoed and inside, the walls were covered with these metal hearts, much like the ones you see in Mexico. Definitely worth the visit. The other cool thing were the astonishing number of solo female hikers in this area. Get it, ladies!
From the church, I thought about taking a bus to the next destination and ended up scrapping the idea for a walk instead. An hour or so from the base of Madonna del Sasso, you stroll left along the lake to Muralto-Minusio. I am so glad I did this, as it was gem after gem of gorgeous home, climbing roses, and more ancient churches. Plus, it ends at an option of pizza joints!