Hi I'm... Lugano
A Swiss glacial lake pools around Italian mountains and alpine chalets rub up against piazzas…
Lugano is like a dream you had.
It’s in Switzerland but super close to Lombardy. Chic Swiss style with the carbs and vino of Italy? The combo we need right now.
The lake looks like it was made of actual mermaid tears. Drag yourself away for the Starburst-coloured old town, Renaissance churches, and a surprisingly good nightlife scene. Plus all the ravioli you can stomach.
Sure, Lugano is packing traditional pastel houses with manicured flowerpots and well-behaved foliage (dreamy) - but it’s also got all the mod cons...
Lugano Arte e Cultura (LAC) is here to show you that black spaceship-looking buildings can live next to Renaissance churches. The LAC is Lugano’s swanky cultural centre.
Before C-who-shall-not-be-named took a dump on 2020, LAC was churning out culture. Think showings of Emil Bührle’s private collection - which included Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh. Plus, musicals and swanky orchestral numbers.
At the moment they’re streaming some of their theatre shows here.
“If you don’t think Alprose Chocolate Museum counts as culture, we can’t be friends.”
Take a tour round this lad for a look back at the history of chocolate - but mainly for the free tastings. You can watch chocolate being prepared and packaged too.
You pedalo into the riverbank and hit a citrus tree. Then a lemon falls on your head. But you don’t care because you’re living in an actual fairytale…
Lake Lugano will do that to a person.
You’ll want to take to the water like a Swiss duck. Obvs you can just spy the sparkly lake from the promenade but where’s the fun in that? Head to the dock at Rivetta Tell near Parco Ciani for vintage boats straight out of toytown.
Or, shell out the 40 Swiss francs and cruise about in a motorboat. Who pays rent anyway? Nab a bottle of wine and snacks for the ride. Gabbani - wine bar, bakery, butcher - is just next door.
Lugano is what happens when fondue and pasta have a cheesy carb baby.
We’re not drooling, you are.
You’ll want to hit up La Cucina di Alice, it’s a bit of a Lugano legend. Sitting pretty on the sidewalk, you can get an eyeful of the lake and a mouthful of fresh pasta. Winner winner.
Get the filet of local perch with black rice, it will have been pulled out the lake that morning. Or, go for pistachio pesto pasta with snow peas and asparagus.
“I want calves that could cut through butter"
Lugano’s got you.
This guy’s packing more mountains than an episode of Heidi. And Monte Brè is one of the best - ‘best’ here means life-affirming views from the top and calf-melting hikes.
Take the funicular to the cutesy town of Brè and make like a mountain goat. At the top, there are dreamy views of Lugano bay, plus the Pennine and Bernese Alps.
This one’s a keeper - hit the Lucky button then save this trip for a happier time 💚