Ticino

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Canton Ticino or Ticino (Italian pronunciation: [tiˈtʃiːno]; German: Tessin [tɛˈsiːn]; see also in other languages) is the southernmost canton of Switzerland. Named after the Ticino river, it is the only canton in which Italian is the sole official language. Ticino borders the Canton of Uri to the north, Valais to the west (through the Novena Pass), Graubünden to the northeast, Italy's regions of Piedmont and Lombardy to the south and it surrounds the small Italian exclave of Campione d'Italia. Together with areas of the canton of Graubünden it makes up the so-called Italian Switzerland.

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History

In ancient times, the area of what is today Ticino was settled by the Lepontii, a Celtic tribe. Later, probably around the rule of Augustus, it became part of the Roman Empire. After the fall of the Western Empire, was ruled by the Ostrogoths, the Lombards and the Franks. Around 1100 it was the centre of struggle between the free communes of Milan and Como: in the 14th century it was acquired by the Visconti, Dukes of Milan. In the fifteenth century the Swiss Confederates conquered the valleys south of the Alps in three separate conquests.

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