If you look at a World Atlas, you’ll find that Lugano is in Switzerland, specifically the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino. However, as its name suggests, Lugano Switzerland has Italy written all over it. It is no wonder, considering how the only thing that separates this stunningly beautiful village from nearby Italy is Lago di Lugano (“Lake Lugano”, a.k.a. Ceresio) and the forest-fringed shores of two rivers.
The village of Lugano Switzerland is located on the south side of the Alps, right on the border with Italy. Public buildings, hotels and private villas all have an Italian look to them. And if that is not enough, the food and language are markedly Italian.
However, don’t be surprised when, unlike in “real” Italy, shops in Lugano Switzerland close exactly at 7:00 p.m. with most of downtown deserted a few minutes later. As with many small villages, Lugano Switzerland has virtually no nightlife, but the plethora of sights and sounds during the day more than make up for this apparent shortage in nightly entertainment.
You begin the day to the sound of several macho roosters crowing nearby. Lugano Switzerland is small enough to tour on foot. However, if you want to ride, cycling is a wonderful alternative. Circle the shore of Lago di Lugano for a picturesque view of the southern Alps with its combination of Alpine and Mediterranean flora. Afterwards, if you are up for more beautiful sights, consider this list of the top attractions in Lugano Switzerland:
Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angioli
The church houses the magnificent frescoes disabled dating back to the 16th century by Bernardino Luini. Located just a few hundred yards from the busy highway, the Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angioli remarkably exudes a sense of calm.
For one of the most picturesque places in Lugano Switzerland, go to the tiny enclave of Gandria on the eastern side of Lake Lugano. A new roadway has been constructed along the hillside just above the village to connect Lugano to Italy’s Lake Como, so what was previously only accessible by foot or by boat can now be accessed by car or even bicycle. Be sure to take the path around the foot of Bre where you will walk or ride past the lovely Path of Flowers and the Park of Olives.
Cattedrale San Lorenzo
Located below the main train station and right on the Via san Lorenzo, the Cattedrale San Lorenzo and its magnificent spire is one of the most distinctive sights in Lugano Switzerland. The cathedral is unique in Lugano Switzerland in that it has a long history, disabled dating back to 818 A.D., in a village remarkably lacking in any significant historical landmarks.
There are several more fascinating sights to see in Lugano Switzerland. The above-mentioned are but a few.
Image by Lonnon Foster