CITY OF THE MONTH

A bi-monthly guide featuring a City, an Islands, or a Town,
showcasing their cultural, historical events, and their best-kept secrets.

LUGANO THE SWISS RIVIERA

Lugano! A city in southern Switzerland’s Italian speaking region, Ticino’s most eminent city and the largest town in the holiday of the region, not only known as the country, third most influential business center, for finances, banking, and conferences but also a town of lush, surrounded by mountains, lake, parks, and flowers.

Its Swiss-Mediterranean cultural blend, closely related to the northern Lombardy region in Italy, as reflected, in both the cuisine and architectural styles.

A vibrant, and amazingly beautiful city, once considered as the “Monte Carlo” of Switzerland! Lugano offers all the advantages of a world-class city, a place with a quintessentially Mediterranean atmosphere, combined with the cachet of a small town.

THE CITY

The city of Lugano sits surrounded by mountains on the north shore of the glacial Lake Lugano. Pastel-colored, neoclassical palaces encircle the town square, Piazza Della Riforma.

Population: 66,586. The population of Lugano continues to grow, as demonstrated by City Hall’s data from 31 December 2021.

It’s no wonder this historic traffic-free town, with its Mediterranean-style arcades, squares, and numerous parks draws visitors and new residents alike.
Sprawling Parco Civico on the shores of Lake Lugano features ambling paths, lakefront views, and stunning manicured lawns. Belvedere Gardens boasts camellias, magnolias, countless sub-tropical plants, and modern works of art, all inviting you on a promenade.

In 1844, the Town Hall was built to house the cantonal government.

Building in the historic center Lugano

buildings in the historic center of Lugano Switzerland

Town Hall Lugano

LUGANO, SWITZERLAND - JULY 5, 2014: Town Hall (Palazzo Civico), Lugano. The Town Hall was constructed in 1844 to provide a suitable venue for the cantonal government.

Villa Ciani botanical garden Lugano

Villa on Ciani botanical garden of luxurious resort Lugano, Ticino canton of Switzerland. People on the background

THE MOUNTAINS

Monte Brè and Monte San Salvatore, the two closest mountains to Lugano, provide a magnificent panorama of the town, the alpine scene, and Lake Lugano.

Walk down Monte Brè to the village of Brè, preserved as a typical Ticino village centre enhanced with local works of art.

Hike down San Salvatore through the charming Carona onto Lake Lugano at Morcote. Take a boat trip to return to Lugano as a brilliant way to complete your day-long adventure. Discover the fishing village of Gandria, the Lilliput world of Switzerland in Miniature at Melide, or travel up the Monte San Giorgio or Monte Generoso for more excursions.

Spectacular view of Lugano from the lakeside in the Canton of Ticino, Switzerland. Breath-taking mountains frame a cruise ship on the lake in the background.

Dazzling view of Lake Lugano on the mountain verge from the botanical garden on a spring day in Ticino, Switzerland.

 

Lugano City with lake view

rsz_lugano_city_with_the_view_of_lake__for_culturgo-min_1_

Cruise ship on Lake Lugano

Beautiful view on the lake side of Lugano, with cruise ship in the lake and mountains in background, Canton of Ticino, Switzerland.

Lake view and mountains from the Bota

Beautiful view of the lake surrounded by mountains from the botanical garden of Lugano on a spring day, Ticino, Switzerland

THE WEATHER

Lugano is one of Switzerland’s most popular tourist destinations. The distinctive culture and cuisine, exceptional wines, mild climate, and “Dolce Vita” (pleasure and luxury) spirit bring visitors from near and far.

Olive and palm trees, with warm Mediterranean temperatures, create a relaxing experience just sitting at a table in a town square. Eat, chat, and enjoy life here.

Lugano, Switzerland: City Park. Picture of the botanical park with flowers surrounded by mountains lakeside.

 Botanical park Lugano

Lugano, Switzerland: Park of the City. Picture from the botanical park by the lake and surrounding mountains with flowers

 Statue of Guillame Tell

Lugano, Switzerland - september 25, 2014: Statue of William Tell situated on the lakeside promenade of the city

Ciani Park and panorama of Lake Lugano

Ciani park and panorama of Lake Lugano Switzerland

HOME OF CULTURE

Renaissance churches, modernist villas, belle epoque hotels, and a couple of casinos to start. Add lush gardens with palm trees and perhaps some mountain snow in the winter.
Combine these with numerous Italianate Lombardy-style buildings, exclusive museums, elegant designer boutiques, bars, and sidewalk cafes, all on the lakeshore’s blossoming promenade.
Imagine the LAC arts centre, a full event calendar, and you’ll understand why this is called “The Swiss Riviera.”

Lugano has distinctive wine, cuisine, and culture.

Check out the farmers’ market in the delightful main square, Piazza Della Riforma, between 7 am and 12 noon, Tuesdays, and Fridays.

ART – ARCHITECTURE

Art connoisseurs are drawn to Lugano for the architecture and exceptional standards for art exhibitions. At the Museo Cantonale d’Arte, view works by Klee, Degas, Renoir, Jawlensky, and more.

Over the past 50 years, the Ticino area, especially Lugano, has evolved into an influential architectural region, including the “Ticino School” like Luigi Snozzi and Mario Botta. Among the most known representatives of Botta’s Banca BSI are the Palazzo Ransila and the workshop on the Via Ciani.

SOME OF LUGANO FAMOUS LANDMARKS 

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

 

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

 

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

 

FAMOUS MUSEUMS IN LUGANO

Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana, Lugano – LAC

Art museum

Piazza Bernardino Luini 6

Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana

Lugano – Palazzo Reali

Museum

Via Canova 10

Museum of Cultures

Museum

Riva Antonio Caccia 5

Fondazione Gabriele e Anna Braglia

Art museum

Riva Antonio Caccia 6A

Gabinetto di storia naturale

Museum

Viale Carlo Cattaneo 4 · In Parco Ciani

Museo in Erba

Children’s museum

Central Park, Riva Antonio Caccia, Galleria 1/1o piano

Collezione Giancarlo e Danna Olgiati

Art museum

Riva Antonio Caccia 1

Museo Laboratorio Kunsthalle Lugano

Museum

Salita M. e A. Chiattone 18 

Real Bodies Lugano

Museum

Museo San Salvatore

Museum

Paradiso

Villa Heleneum

Museum

Via Cortivo 24 

ProMuseo

Museum

Via Canova 10

Caslano

Swiss Customs Museum

Museum

Cantine di Gandria

(Accessible by boat)

LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura

Cultural center

Piazza Bernardino Luini 6

Gipsoteca Gianluigi Giudici

Art museum

Riva Antonio Caccia 1A

Museo Wilhelm Schmid

Museum

Brè sopra Lugano

Archivio storico della Città di Lugano e Museo

Rainis e Aspazija

Archive

Piazza Carlo Cattaneo 1

Museo Hermann Hesse Montagnola

Museum

Montagnola

Chocolat Alprose SA

Museum

Caslano

Museo della Pesca

Museum

Caslano

Lugano City Museum of Fine Arts

Malcantone di Curio museum

Museum Curio

OUR SUGGESTIONS

A FEW OF THE UNCONDITIONAL HOTSPOTS IN LUGANO

WHERE TO EAT

 Restaurant…

Luxury modern restaurant in classic style. With tables of seven people each. 3D render.

WHERE TO EAT

 Restaurant…

PHOTO-123-restaurant-Luxurious-reataurant-1024x683-1

WHERE TO EAT

Restaurant…

PHOTO-123-Restaurant-interior-of-a-restaurant-modern-design-1024x644-1

WHERE TO SHOP

Boutique…

Interior of fashionable women's clothes store with clothes racks.

WHERE TO SHOP

 Boutique…

3d render fashion dress shop

WHERE TO SHOP

 Boutique…

Women handbags in a store in London

WHERE TO STAY

Hotel…

modern lobby in hotel with crystal lamp

WHERE TO STAY

Hotel…

Illuminated hotel sign taken in Paris at night

WHERE TO STAY

Hotel…

20755885 - hotel building, 3d images

LUGANO HIGHLIGHTS

 

Parco Civico Ciani – overlooking the shores of Lake Ceresio, its 63.000 sq. metres constitute the city’s green lung; it’s a quiet place where you can take nice walks and where it is impossible to remain unperturbed by the grandeur of century-old trees.

Monte Brè (925m) – Lugano’s closest mountain can be reached by funicular railway from Cassarate on the outskirts of Lugano. Wonderful panorama of the town, lake and mountains, stretching right over the border into Italy.

Monte San Salvatore (912m) – from the top of the “sugarloaf” (reached by funicular railway from Lugano-Paradiso) you can walk down the panoramic footpath to Carona and then on to Morcote.

San Lorenzo Cathedral – set above the Old Town, it is worth a visit with its facade in the Lombardy Renaissance style, and countless frescoes and valuable Baroque artefacts inside.

Church of Santa Maria Degli Angioli – in this former monastery church, built about 1500, are fine frescoes by the masters of the Renaissance.

Hesse Museum in Montagnola – small, intimate museum for the writer and adopted son of Ticino, Hermann Hesse, who lived and wrote in southern Switzerland for at least half a century.


TOP EVENT IN LUGANO

 

Pasqua in città – explore the numerous intriguing and entertaining activities for young and old (March/April).

Lugano Festival – an important cultural attraction, mainly devoted to classical music, but also including other aspects of the arts (April-June).

Lugano Estival Jazz – the main musical event in Ticino, with free open-air jazz concerts – well-established on the circuit of major international jazz festivals (June/July).

“Blues to Bop” – on the stages and squares in Lugano’s town centre, the musical style ranges from blues to pop via gospel and back to soul (August/September).

Festa d’Autunno – a party featuring gastronomic delicacies, wines and typical regional products (October).

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