All I want for Christmas is panettone

  • 11 december - 9.00
  • Happy

The period leading up to Christmas is magical. Cinnamon, ginger, vanilla... the festive scents waft through the village streets. It's December in Ticino and the mountain tops are starting to turn white. The undisputed star of this season is, of course, panettone!

Some people are just starting to prepare it, while others have already been at work since about mid-November, like pastry chefs all over the canton. The ingredients are simple - flour, butter, sugar, and eggs, with a little added dried and / or candied fruit - but the most important ingredient is the sourdough starter that gives the dough its characteristic development time and aromas. With all the kneading, leavening, and leaving to rest, it takes over 30 hours to perfectly craft this symbol of confectionery tradition. This sweet bread typically has a cylindrical base with a soft dome on top. It is brown in color, soft to the touch, and sweet to the taste. In this particular period of the year, the star of the Christmas holidays in Ticino is panettone.
This dessert, originally from Milan, was once considered a luxury food that few could afford, but nowadays it is indispensable under any Christmas tree.
Walking through the streets of Mendrisio, your attention is captured by the shop window of the Bottega del Fornaio. Giuseppe Piffaretti, a.k.a. Mastro Piff, has been baking artisanal panettone here for more than 40 years. Not only that, he is also the man behind the Panettone World Cup, the event par excellence dedicated to this symbol of confectionery tradition, which is held in Lugano every 2 years. 

Fiore di Pietra, Monte Generoso

Bellinzona city

Bellinzona city

Next stop? Lugano, of course. In the city center, just a few steps from Piazza Riforma, awaits a hidden gem also known as the “Salotto di Lugano”: the Grand Café Al Porto restaurant. Panettone is an artisanal specialty here as well! Tasting their panettone is like going back to the nineteenth century, when the place was a meeting place for politicians, writers, and artists.

Two minutes and off you go. Where are you headed? Bellinzona! Here, the Tea Room Peverelli pastry shop is the home of tradition, quality, and innovation. Founded as a bakery in 1888, it is the oldest one in the city. 
This time, you get the panettone to-go, but you treat yourself to a coffee in the sun in the square.

Your day is coming to an end and a walk along the Ascona lakeside is an inviting prospect, especially if accompanied by the sweet creations from the Marnin boutique-confiserie. Between bites, you let yourself be enchanted by the views and the colored lights that decorate the village. 
A visit to the original Marnin pastry shop in Piazza S. Antonio in Locarno is recommended; for over 30 years, it seems like the night here has brought counsel, or at least panettone! 

Tauf Khamitov, - athlete, coach and KVplus founder
Tauf Khamitov,athlete, coach and KVplus founder
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Along the streets of Mendrisio


Along the streets of Lugano


Along the streets of Bellinzona


Along the streets of Ascona



Time flies between Christmas presents to think about and biscuits to make. A few ingredients, lots of imagination and 5 recipes that are easy to prepare, even in the company of children. Fun is guaranteed while waiting for Christmas.


Ticino Turismo

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6501 Bellinzona

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