Lugano travel guide
Located near the Swiss Alps in the south of the country, close to the Italian border, Lugano has all the traditional charms of a Swiss town with more than a small dash of Italian chic. If you are considering rubbing shoulders with the celebrities who favour this resort, we hope our Lugano travel guide will provide useful travel and tourism information about this place, which is being dubbed the Swiss Monte Carlo.
Lugano’s popularity stems from its geographical location: sheltered by the Swiss Alps but only 50 kilometres from Italy’s elegant city of Milan, its balmy climate and clean alpine air draw many visitors from Italy as well as the rest of Europe. At nearly 50 km², Lake Lugano is Switzerland’s seventh largest lake and spreads over into Italy. There are plenty of lakeside parks and restaurants fringing its shores and with water taxis and boats for hire this is an interesting way to explore the area. Alternatively you can take a leisurely cruise and even dine on board as you take in the sights.
On the shores of Lake Lugano is Parco Civico, claimed to be one of Switzerland’s loveliest parks. Its ever changing flower gardens are a special delight to see and its rare trees and plants, shaded walks and great views out across the lake make it very popular with visitors. The city’s art museum, Villa Ciani, dating back to the 1840s houses a feast of local art for culture lovers. There are many other parks and attractions around the lake including numerous restaurants, water sports facilities and an outdoor cinema.
For lovers of the great outdoors there are some excellent hikes, walking and cycling routes in the Swiss Alps where you can enjoy the spectacular vistas and great exercise. Try taking the funicular railway and cable car up to the top of Monte San Salvatore for some amazing views across Switzerland and Italy, or the cog railway up to the dizzy heights of Monte Generoso. For the very energetic, take the cable car to Mount Tamaro and enjoy the stunning views before selecting one of the hiking routes – perhaps crossing to Monte Lima and returning via another cable car for a change of scenery.
The Alprose Chocolate Museum and the Swiss Miniature Museum are two places worthy of a visit. The latter, in the nearby village of Melide is a fascinating re-creation of Switzerland in miniature. The museum of the Nobel Prize winner Hermann Hesse may also be of interest to those who have ever been affected by his great literary works. And finally, it would be remiss not to mention Lugano’s famous music festivals which offer something to please all musical tastes, whether classical, jazz, modern, or blues, the music will be a lasting reminder of your visit to Lugano.