Fort, Palace

Three Castles, Defensive Wall and Ramparts of the Market - In the crib of the Alp-fringed Ticino valley, there rests the charming town of Bellinzona, with history embossed on its UNESCO-protected medieval band. The three castles - Castelgrande, Montebello, and Sasso Corbaro - and the fortified metropolis walls were built by dukes of Milan and doled out to grasp off Swiss associates in their violent campaign to surmount the territories south of the Gotthard Pass. The efforts came to nothing and Bellinzona fell under brutal control of Swiss overlords for three centuries, until 1803 when Ticino became independent. Today, the rocky ramparts comprise the town's foremost attraction but also provide an illustrious milieu for copious cultural and artistic events.

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