Top 10 Places to visit in Italy and Switzerland

by Mabel Chinaglia (from Italy) & Fabian Furrer (from Switzerland)

Switzerland:

Switzerland is a landlocked mountainous country in South-Central Europe, bordered by Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and Liechtenstein. 

With an area of 41,285 km², the country is just slightly smaller than the Netherlands.

Switzerland has a population of 8.6 million people (in 2019), capital city is Bern; the largest city is Zürich. Spoken languages are German, French, Italian and Rumantsch, traditionally spoken in the different regions (cantons) of the country. According to the World Happiness Report 2021, the Swiss Confederation is officially the third-happiest nation on Earth, after Finland and Denmark.

Italy:

Italy is located in southern Europe on the Apennine Peninsula. Italy has international borders with Austria, France, the Holy Seat (Vatican City), San Marino, Slovenia, and Switzerland. It also shares maritime borders with Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Greece, Libya, Malta, Montenegro, Spain, and Tunisia.

Two of the largest Mediterranean islands belong to Italy, Sardinia in the west and Sicily in the south. 
The country covers an area of 301,318 km² (116,340 sq. mi.), compared, it is about 80% the size of Japan.

Italy has a population of more than 59.6 million people in 2020, the capital and largest city is Rome. Other major cities are Florence, Milan, Naples, and Venice. Spoken language is Italian and Ladino.

1. The Matterhorn

The Matterhorn, Switzerland’s iconic pointed peak is one of the highest mountains in the Alps. On the border with Italy, this legendary peak rises to 4,478 meters, and its four steep faces lie in the direction of the compass points.

2. Via Krupp, Capri

While the risk of tumbling rocks means you can no longer stroll the elegant switchback bends that make up Via Krupp, that doesn’t stop the view at the top from being any less spectacular. Head up to the Augustus Gardens and gaze out at the best of Capri laid before you.

3. Jungfraujoch

One of the most popular things to do in the beautiful Bernese Oberland is the train journey to Jungfraujoch, the “Top of Europe,” with an observation terrace and scientific observatory perched at 3,454 meters. The longest glacier in Europe, the Great Aletsch Glacierbegins at Jungfraujoch, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

4. Isola Bella, Sicily

Isola Bella is a pinprick of an island with more than its fair share of natural beauty. So-called ‘The Pearl of the Ionian Sea’

5. Bern

In a stunning location, perched on a peninsula of the River Aare, the Swiss capital of Bern exudes old world charm, and the city’s medieval old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

6. Ostuni, Puglia

A white-washed hilltop town, it could be Greece on first glance. The joy of Ostuni is discovering its alleys and pretty buildings as you wander the streets and absorb the atmosphere. There’s plenty to see, and a lively buzz to enjoy. The clean beaches of the coast are just a few minutes away

7. The Rhine Falls

Spanning 150 meters, the Rhine Falls (Rheinfall) at Schaffhausen are the largest falls in Central Europe. The best time to visit is during June and July when the mountain snow melts, and the falls swell in volume to spill over a 21-meter-high ledge. 

8. Burano, Venice

Many international magazines include Burano among the top 10 most colorful cities in the world, although it would be more appropriate to bring it within the first 10 most colorful places in the world

9. Swiss Grand Canyon

The Ruinaulta (also known as the “Swiss Grand Canyon”) is a deep gorge surrounded by expansive meadows and forested cliffs. Located in Eastern Switzerland, it was created over 10,000 years ago—when the Ice Age Rhine Glacier retreated, it led to a chain of events that resulted in a massive rockslide in the Rhine Valley. As the Rhine river seeped through the rock walls, the gorge was filled with water.

10. Lake Como

Lake Como, also known as Lario, is the third largest of the Italian lakes (after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore). With a maximum depth of approximately 410 meters, Lake Como is one of the deepest lakes in Europe.

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