Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Return Visit to Lugano Switzerland After 18 Years

As I told you a while back, we went to visit friends Diane and Dominic at their home near Como, Italy. After spending Saturday visiting Como and nearby villages along Lake Como that I told you about here, we crossed the border on Sunday to visit Lugano, Switzerland.

Lugano is a small town (population 61,837) in the south of Switzerland, in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, which borders Italy. It is the 9th largest town of Switzerland by population, the largest town in Ticino, and the largest Italian-speaking town outside of Italy.

Lugano lies at the edge of Lake Lugano, surrounded by numerous mountains between lakes Lago Maggiore and Lago di Como. The center of town is located on the lake shore just to the west of where the Cassarate River enters the lake. The town's waterfront forms a crescent around the bay between the Brè and San Salvatore mountains.

Lugano Lakefront

As you walk around Lugano, you will come across a number of squares and parks. The town is clean, you are in Switzerland after all and the center of town is traffic free perfect for a carefree stroll about town.

Religious statue

The Town Hall of Lugano is located at Piazza della Riforma. It is a neoclassical building from 1844.

Town Hall of Lugano

Piazza della Riforma is Lugano's main piazza, and the biggest one.

Piazza della Riforma

As you can imagine, Lake Lugano and the surrounding mountains provide a wide variety of outdoor activities for visitors. The area surrounding Lugano is home to over 300 kilometers (190 miles) of mountain biking trails, the largest network of trails in Switzerland.

Lake Lugano

Fountain in Lugano

Swiss Flagg Flies Along Lake Lugano

Lugano Lakefront

Boats for Rent

At the entrance to Parco Civico on the lakeshore promenade is a statue to Switzerland's hero William Tell created by sculptor Vincenzo Vela in 1856.

Statue of William Tell

Villa Ciani is a rose colored building in Parco Civico. It was built in the 1840s by the brothers Ciani. A palazzo was here before. The brothers were supposedly liberal thinkers and politicians, and important characters in the history of the Ticino.

Villa Ciani

Parco Civico is a big park by the lake. It is often called Parco Ciani after Villa Ciani, the rose colored mansion in the park. The villa houses the Museo Civico di Belle Arti, a museum with a collection of 15th - 20th century paintings.

Parco Civico

The sculpture of a giant head, "Eros Bendato" seen below, was sculpted by Igor Mitoraj in 1999. You can step inside and peer out.

"Eros Bendato"

The Obelisk monument seen below honors the memory of the men who fell in the battle between the Luganese volunteers and the Cisalpini during the French Revolution.

Obelisk Monument

It was nice to make a return visit to Lugano with friends. Shirley and I visited Lugano back in 1986 and spent a night at one of the many hotels along the lakefront. We returned again in 1995 with friends Cluney and Tricia and our kids. The town doesn't look like it had changed at all.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Have a good rest of your week. Chat soon.


  1. Pretty. My husband went there in july for a conference. I couldn't go.

  2. Megan - Too bad you couldn't go. You would like Lugano I am sure. I hope all is well and you are enjoying the holidays.