Visit Lugano and discover Switzerland's southern side in the gorgeous green tourism-friendly region of Ticino.
"Pay a visit to Lugano and step into a microcosm of Italy, where dolce vita and sunny landscapes reign supreme. Bordered by the southern Alps, the city is nestled in the Lake Lugano bay close to the Italian border. Ticino is one of Switzerland's two Italian-speaking cantons.
The lake is one of Lugano's highlights, offering walks along its peaceful shores set against a mountain backdrop. Come summer, few things are more relaxing than an afternoon at one of the private little beaches (known as lidos) set up by the waterfront. You might also like to hop on a boat for a trip out to one of the neighbouring villages. As well as embracing the delights of the water, Lugano is a haven of greenery and is home to many parks and gardens, including the soothing Parco Civico and Jardin du Belvédère close to the lake's shores. In the spring, these green spaces erupt into an explosion of colour thanks to the Mediterranean flowers that blossom here in the balmy climate. "
Two peaks tower up over the city: Monte San Salvatore and Monte Brè. Measuring just 900 metres high, these little mountains overlook one another and are truly worth a trip, especially as you can take a little funicular to their summits. The top of San Salvatore offers up magnificent, sweeping views across the lake and southern Ticino. From here, several different hiking trails connect to other mountains in the region, resulting in a range of different walks that can last from a few hours to a full day. You can also make the return journey by foot, wandering back down to the lake and the pretty village of Carona before hopping on a boat to travel back to Lugano. Once you reach the top of Monte Brè, relax on a restaurant terrace and soak up the views before hitting the road that winds its way back down to Brè, a traditional little Ticino village.
City of art
Back in town, one of the best ways of seeing Lugano is to stroll through the town centre around the Piazza della Riforma, a lively square lined with opulent villas. Pedestrian streets radiate out from the square, forming the historic heart of Lugano: wander down the gorgeous Via Nassa and step into the upmarket boutiques huddled in its arches. From here, continue on to the San Lorenzo cathedral or the Santa Maria degli Angioli church, both home to some spectacular frescoes Art is well served in Lugano, with the Museo d’Arte's contemporary exhibitions, the masters on display at the Palazzo Reali and the city-centre galleries.
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Ben - 29/11/2016
Photos credits : Mor65_Mauro Piccardi
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Lugano, postcard scenery in the heart of Southern Switzerland