The other weekend we decided it would be a good idea to check out the Italian part of Switzerland, where the weather, language, and people, are supposedly much more Mediterranean than in other parts of the country. We drove up the Valais and over the Simplon pass, briefly into Italy and then passed into Ticino, which was quite a challenging drive in the end, being along some quite narrow mountain roads.
several castles, and a couple of them have restaurants inside. We took the none-too-clear advice of our guidebook to try the Castello di Sasso Corbaro, which is the highest of the three castles. Once inside however it was quickly apparent that the "Osteria-style" restaurant has gone significantly upmarket since the guidebook was printed. In the end it was really delicious and actually quite reasonably priced dinner! This, at least, was what we'd hoped from Italian-Switzerland!
That night, back in Bellinzona, we went to the other castle restaurant (at Castelgrande) for dinner. This was a bit weird because the whole castle was really quiet, and the restaurant door was resolutely shut against the cold night air, but we managed to push our way inside and had another very nice dinner, albeit as the only customers of the restaurant that night.
We also dropped through nearby Locarno, but we weren't inspired even to stay for lunch and continued on to Bellinzona where we had a really nice lunch in the main square of the town.
This all would have been fine but for the fact we were unaware there was still one more pass to be negotiated on our trip, and this was probably the most difficult we'd been on. It took us over the Susten pass into Bern and was high enough that we were passing significant amounts of snow by the road.