We (a family with 2 teenage children) had only ever been through Bellinzona to change trains, but made the very sensible decision this time to break a Swiss-Italian journey overnight in the town. It's stunning, nestling below 3 wonderful mediaeval castles. The Hotel Croce Federale itself is at the base of the cliffs on which one castle sits, right in the centre of town (which is only 5 mins walk from the rail/bus station). The staff were very friendly, spoke excellent English, and the rooms comfortable. It also has a good pizza restaurant on the ground floor, with large covered terrace for outdoor dining. The only downside was lack of air conditioning, so you need to open the windows when the outside temperature goes into the 30s, as it did when we were there.
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