August 2010
« Jul   Sep »

Lugano – a city by the Lake in Southern Switzerland

Lugano is a lakeside city in Ticino, the Italian-speaking part of southern Switzerland and near the border with Italy. Some of the pleasures of Lugano include palm trees, picturesque boulevards, stunning views of the lake and the Alps, and plenty of opportunity for outdoor and indoor activities. The climate of Lugano is moderate to temperate. The city is on Lake Lugano and has given it a nickname “Monte Carlo of Switzerland”. It is the 9th largest city of Switzerland by population. It is surrounded by mountains with enchanting viewpoints.
The origin of the name is possibly the Latin word Lucus, meaning wood or sacred wood, or Gaulish locovanno “lake dweller”. It is the third most important financial centre and a conference, banking and business centre, but also a town of parks and flowers, villas and sacred buildings. Lugano offers all the advantages of a world-class city, combined with the cachet of a small town.
The city is traffic-free and has a historic town centre, numerous buildings in Italianate Lombardy style, exclusive museums, view of the mountains, a lake and a packed calendar of events all invite visitors to see the sights. The two closest mountains to Lugano, Monte San Salvatore and Monte Brè, give you an outstanding panorama of the town, Lake Lugano and the alpine scenery. From Monte Brè there is a walk down to the village of Brè, which has preserved its typical Ticino village centre, and enhanced it with works of art. From the San Salvatore, another popular walk leads down through the beautifully situated Carona to Lake Lugano at Morcote. Taking a boat trip back to Lugano is a splendid way to round off the day. Other excursions are to the fishing village of Gandria, up the Monte San Giorgio or the Monte Generoso or to the Lilliput world of Switzerland in Miniature at Melide

The popular buildings in Lugano are
• St. Lawrence Cathedral (9th and 15th century)
• St. Mary of the Angels Church (16th century) with the fresco of the Christ’s Passion from Bernardino Luini
• Parco civico – Villa Ciani
• Piazza della Riforma
• Villa Favorita
• Piazza della Riforma

The Poular Museums are
• Art Museum
• Museo delle Culture (Museum of Cultures)
• Cantonal Art Museum
• Foundation Aligi Sassu and Helenita Olivares
• Historical Museum
• Cantonal Museum on Natural History
• Swiss Custom Museum
• Municipal Art Museum
• Wilhelm Schmid Museum
• Gottardo Gallery
• Hermann Hesse Museum

More things to do:
• Lake Lugano: The best and the beautiful lake of the city.
• Cattedrale San Lorenzo
The cathedral in Lugano is standing above the city centre. There has been a church on the same site at least since 818, but it was not until 1888 that the church became a cathedral. San Lorenzo has got a tall bell tower and a renaissance façade from the year 1517. It has a mix of medieval, baroque and rococo styles and great artwork.
• Parco Civico
Parco Civico is a 63, 000 square metre big park by the lake. It is often called Parco Ciani after Villa Ciani, which is a mansion in the park. This villa is now housing the Museo Civico di Belle Arti, a museum with a collection of 15th – 20th century paintings.
• Pedalo: Take a Pedalo and enjoy by going on the Lake Lugano and have a grand view of the city.
• Parco Civico: Is a 63,000 square meter beautiful Park located on the lakeside from central Lugano. It is also known as Parco Ciani, after the Ciani brothers who bought and restored the estate.
• City Tour by the “Red Arrow”: This little tourist friendly train is the convenient way to see the hidden beauties of Lugano in 40 minutes.
• Monte Tamaro: It is a biking trail (mountain); Cross-country ski area; Downhill ski area; Mountain; Other; Snowboard ski area.
• L’Enoteca di via Cantonale – Le Cantine Lucchini
The enoteca is the first local reality which includes almost the whole wine production of the canton Tessin. The Enoteca is a wide open door for the exploitation of the ticinese territory and of the wine.

How to get to Lugano:

By plane: Lugano has a small international airport with flights arriving from many European cities especially Italy, England, France and Germany. The airports is 1 1/2 hours away by bus or train and are served by easy Jet and Ryanair.
Swiss International Airline, Flybaboo and Darwin Airline offer discount web special prices to Lugano from many parts of Europe.
By Train: Trains leave for Zurich (3hr) and Milan (40min-1hour) as well as Geneva (via Zurich or Locarno-Domodossola: 5h30′ with 1 or 2 train-change, 6h30′ via Milan with 1 train-change). Note that getting to Geneva or points west it is faster to go via Zurich or Locarno as the trains are more frequent and faster.
By Bus: There are two shuttle services (Star Bus, Malpensa Express between Lugano and Milan – Malpensa Airport) and a daily bus service during summer to Tirano (Italy) with train connection (Bernina Express) to St. Moritz (Switzerland).
By boat: Since a small part of the lake is actually in Italy it is advisable to bring your passport if you plan on exploring by ferry. Lugano is small enough to get around on foot, and many of the streets are pedestrian-only, but the hills above the lakefront are very steep so the bus or the funicular from the center of town might be a better option on the way up to the train station if you have a lot of bags. Taxis can be found on the main roads. Ferries and Funiculars are great options for seeing the views.

Best time to visit / climate:

Lugano has mild climate and is considered a popular tourist destination in the spring when the camellias are in bloom. Some believe the best time to visit Lugano to see the sites and enjoy its beauty is in October, when the summer crowds have thinned and winter crowds have not yet arrived. The weather is cool, but not yet cold and everything takes on a quiet, peaceful feel.

Location on Google Maps:

View Larger Map

Driving directions from Milan to Lugano:

View Larger Map

Driving directions from Zurich to Lugano:

View Larger Map

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers):

Tripadvisor (list of restaurants with addresses and ratings)
• (list of hotels)

Blogs / Sites about Lugano:


Images and photos of Lugano:

Google Images

Videos of Lugano

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>