The hidden places of Ascona

When carrying our research for the Rest pillar of Moving Mountains we worked with a leading sleep clinic to learn more about our need for rest and the remarkably regenerative qualities of a good night’s sleep.

Restful sleep is essential for the body and mind. The metabolism and the immune system regenerate during this time as our brain goes back over the impressions of the day. And that means that sleep makes a major contribution to our health and well-being. We know that a good night’s sleep starts with actions taken during the day which is why the Moving Mountains Rest pillar looks at sleep from a holistic perspective. For us, rest means not only good sleep, but helping to set you up with a calm state of mind and a relaxed body.

Alongside nature-inspired spa treatments and a Dream Butler that will ensure an optimal sleeping experience, we have designated special ‘Hidden Places’ in Ascona that you can visit to switch off and take some time out of your day.

Ascona delights with its mediterranean climate and breathtaking landscape. The former fishing village exudes a very special flair, the view over Lake Maggiore is unique. We know the spots where you will be able to find time for yourself and your thoughts in peace and quiet and take a break from the lively hustle and bustle of the small town: these are the Hidden Places.

San Michele Church

The San Michele Church is a place of silence that is steeped in history. The church is a 20 minute walk from the hotel and you will be rewarded for the slight climb by a fantastic view. The Piazza Giuseppe Motta, the bay of Ascona and a view of Lake Maggiore extending down to Italy are all at your feet from here.

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TIP: In the hours before the sun disappears behind the gentle hills, Ascona wraps itself in golden light. Exactly at this time the church of San Michele is one of the most beautiful places to view the piazza from a bird’s eye view.

Collegio Papio

A leisurely 15 minute walk from hotel will take you on a journey into the past. Founded in 1585 as a Jesuit college, the Collegio Papio currently houses a secondary school. The atrium, surrounded by high columns and made of purple Baveno granite, is a feast for the eyes – this is a powerful and enchanting place from times gone by.

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TIP: Take advantage of the time at this historic site like the  early monks, to introspect and linger.

Monte Verità Zen garden

Monte Verità means “Mount of Truth”. This is a place equally rich in tranquillity. The unique microclimate of this area offers the best possible conditions for the tea plantation that sits in the park. The diversity of plants and nature in the 70,000 m2 grounds have inspired numerous poets and thinkers.

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TIP: Roam through the lush green plantation and sample a locally grown tea served in Japanese art at the teahouse.


This quiet spot on the banks of Lake Maggiore is the perfect place to switch off and reflect. Sitting serenely on the water in the middle of the town it’s a quiet location from where you can observe the hustle and bustle of the piazza and watch the world go by.

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TIP: Stop for a moment to watch the water birds that flock to Lake Maggiore. Can you identify them?

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