The town is a popular tourist destination, and holds a yearly jazz festival, the Ascona Jazz Festival.
The oldest archaeological finds in Ascona go back to the beginnings of Late Bronze Age. During the expansion of the cemetery in 1952, a necropolis was discovered at S. Materno, with 21 cremation urns were discovered. The urns were either simply buried or covered with a stone slab box. They contained cremated bones and, in some cases, bronze grave goods. Of particular interest are the bronze brooches, which are among the oldest that have been found so far in Switzerland. They also provide important evidence for the relationship of this area to the cultures of the Italian Peninsula. The grave goods have similarities with those from the final phase of the so-called Canegrate culture . However, the materials used are those of the late Bronze Age north of the Alps. This allowed the cemetery to be dated to the period between the 12th and 10th Centuries BC and points out that Ascona took part in trade over the Alps through the Val Mesolcina and over Lake Maggiore with the Po Valley.
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