Bellinzona : arrival, orientation and information
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Bellinzona’s train station is 500m northeast of the Old Town. The tourist office is in the heart of the Old Town, under the arcades of the Palazzo Civico at Via Camminata 2, off Piazza Nosetto (Mon–Fri 8am–6.30pm, Sat 9am–noon; April–Sept also Sat noon–5pm; 091/825 21 31, www.bellinzona.ch). They have plenty of maps, information and walking suggestions for the city and the Alto Ticino area, and can make free hotel reservations. The Benvenuti a Bellinzona brochure has a complete rundown of the city’s sights with a city map on the back, or you could pick up Alto Ticino Weekend – a series of interesting essays (in four languages) on architecture ancient and modern in the city, and some simple walking routes and driving itineraries in the higher valleys. The official guided walking tour takes advantage of the bustling Saturday market to offer an unusual full-day itinerary, taking in all the castles and their museums as well as a walk around the Old Town (July–Oct Sat 10am–5pm; Fr.30 includes a quality grotto lunch, museum entry fees and bus rides in between walks); book before noon one day in advance.

Note that the cobbled streets of Bellinzona’s Old Town, from the post office south to Piazza Indipendenza, are banned to private vehicles from 7.30pm to 6am.

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