Visit - Locarno and the Parco delle Camelie

Locarno (in Switzerland, in the "Ticino" region) benefits from a climate very adequate for camellias. This region is very sunny and has gentle temperatures. The "Lago Maggiore" brings an humidity appreciated by camellias and soften the temperatures. Moreover, the soil is acid and particularly adapted to their culture. This is why so many parks, public or private gardens and also nurseries can be found. All the city of Locarno is dedicated to camellias. They can be seen everywhere, in containers at the restaurants terraces, in bunch in the city stores, etc. I visited the city during the 14th international Camellia show (in 2011, from 30th march to 03th April). I went to visit the city for the first time for the 14th camellia exhibition in 2011 and I return to Lago Maggiore as often as possible.

 
 
 
 
 

Giardini Pioda

A public garden, the Giardini Pioda (Via Delle Pace) where outstanding subjects can be found:

 
 
 
A small market where merchants sell branches of camellias.
A small market where merchants sell branches of camellias.

Giardini Rusca

Close to the Lake, another walk. The camellias are old varieties (since 1800) and seven meters in height.

 
 
 
 

Parco delle Camelie

Near the lake, on a 10 000 square meter area, here is the Parco delle Camelie. It has been inaugurated in march 2005, after the ICS congress. The collection is very wide, with botanics, higos, japonicas, hybrids and Sasanquas. The optimal period for visits is between March and April, and at the beginning of November for the Sasanqua. The access to the park is free. In perspective of the next ICS congress in 2023, the park is expanding and will include 400 new camellias. In all, the collection will include 1400 different cultivars, some of them in several specimens.

 
 
 
 
 
 

This is the first camellia that was planted in 1965, in what was to become the Parco delle Camelia. It's 'Alba Plena'. At that time, we had no idea what this place would become. This plaque is a tribute to Fritz Zollinger, without whom this park would not exist.
Remo Ferriroli, responsible for the parks and gardens department of the City of Locarno, succeeded him and created the first part of the Parco delle Camelie. It is legitimate to pay tribute to him too.

 
 
 

Below is the botanical camellia sector, which has 40 different species.

 
 
 
 
 

Camellia Show

Every year in Locarno an international exhibition of the Camellia is held (23rd edition in 2022).

This year, because of the uncertainties related to the covid, the camellias exhibition was made in the Parco delle Camelie, by separating the different exhibition areas. 200 varieties were presented .
 
 
 
 
 

To finish the visit, here is the new part of the park, under development. In the whole park, camellias are planted in height, in case the lake would overflow.