Lugano, between the lake and the mountains

An itinerary to visit Lugano, its mountains and floral parks

Lugano is a small town in Ticino, in the south of Switzerland. It offers all year round a relaxing and pleasant atmosphere, but also many cultural events, especially in spring and summer. It is possible to enjoy the relaxing life of the lake, thanks to its beaches and its beautiful promenade, as well as to relax in front of beautiful views from its mountains and walk in the floral parks.

We propose an itinerary of 5km to cover on foot, but that offers in so little space so many beautiful places to visit.

What to visit in Lugano:

  • Monte Brè
  • Porto Lanchetta Lugano
  • Lido di Lugano
  • Parco Ciani
  • Casinò Lugano
  • Quartiere Maghetti
  • Piazza della Riforma
  • San Lorenzo Cathedral
  • Santa Maria degli Angioli
  • Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana – MASI Lugano
  • Tassino Park
  • Fontana dell’Acquaiola
  • Monte San Salvatore
  • San Grato Park
  • Resega

The Mountain of Lugano: Monte Brè

One of the most beautiful views of Lugano from above is undoubtedly from Monte Brè, a terrace overlooking the lake and the City. The summit is easily reached from the center with the funicular from Cassarate. At the top the spectacle of light reflected on the water is wonderful and here you can also taste the local culinary specialties in one of the typical grotti and restaurants.

View from Monte Brè – Lugano

Porto Lanchetta, the Lido di Lugano and Parco Ciani

Descending from Monte Brè and heading towards the center of Lugano, you will find Porto Lanchetta and Lido di Lugano. These are places where you can have excellent aperitifs on the lake. A little further on, you arrive at the city park of Lugano, the Ciani Park. It is a very colorful park thanks to its flowers and plants. This is where people stroll and where several events are held in the summer.

Ciani Park – Lugano

The Casino of Lugano, Quartiere Maghetti and Piazza della Riforma

Near Ciani Park there is the Casino of Lugano. In the same structure there are excellent restaurants, places where to make aperitifs and a disco. Just behind are the colorful Quartiere Maghetti and Piazza della Riforma, Lugano’s central square and seat of the City Hall. Many concerts and events are held here during spring and summer, such as the Estival Jazz that brings famous guests every year.

San Lorenzo Cathedral and Santa Maria degli Angioli

From the center, after a slight climb, you will reach the Cathedral of San Lorenzo of Lugano. Also from here there is a beautiful view of the lake and the red roofs of the city. Another very interesting place of worship and art is Santa Maria degli Angioli. This church has inside ancient frescoes of the early Renaissance depicting the passion and the crucifixion, the work of Bernardino Luini, a disciple of Leonardo da Vinci.

Il Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana – MASI Lugano

Next to Santa Maria degli Angioli is the Art Museum of Southern Switzerland. Many fascinating exhibitions by timeless artists are held here, as well as concerts and events of the highest caliber, thanks in part to the modern theater it has.

Fontana dell’Acquaiola and Monte San Salvatore

Going up the hill a little bit, you can proceed towards another park of Lugano, the Parco del Tassino. Otherwise you can proceed with the walk along the lake shore, until you reach the Acquaiola fountain. From here you can see on one side Monte Brè and on the other side Monte San Salvatore, whose top can be visited thanks to the funicular and from which you can enjoy a beautiful panorama. Not far away there is San Grato Park, a particular park for its colorful flowers that bloom between mid-April and mid-May.

Fontana dell’Acquaiola – Paradiso

Hockey and the Resega

Outside the city center there is the Resega, the ice rink where important Hockey sport events are held, but not only. It is a characteristic place of the City and it is interesting to watch a game of the local team, the HC Lugano.

The typical Ticinese cuisine

The typical Ticinese cuisine is very varied because it combines the typical dishes of the mountain areas with the flavors of the lake. The gastronomy of Ticino offers a wide choice of cold cuts, to be enjoyed with a nice glass of Merlot del Ticino. From the valleys come honey and cheeses, such as the typical büscion. Obviously, the regional culinary tradition does not lack polenta, risotto, stew, luganighetta and salametti.

The flavors of the Alps are contrasted with those of lake fish. All these dishes are accompanied by the wines of the regional tradition. The visit to a winery must be part of the itinerary or it is possible to taste them thanks to the many dedicated events.

In addition to these dishes, typical of the Ticino tradition, you can also find those typical of Switzerland such as bratwurst, Fondue Chinoise, cheese fondue, Raclette and Cordon Bleu, not to mention the famous Swiss chocolate. These are all dishes that can be found in the typical local grotti, very characteristic and where you can always eat well.

Lugano, between Mountain and Lake

Lugano is a small town with a lot to offer. In winter it is a quiet town that offers a good and tasty local cuisine. In summer it turns into a real holiday resort, where you can dive into the lake, sunbathe, attend concerts, have lively aperitifs and dine in excellent restaurants. On the lake or in the mountains.

If you want to discover more of Canton Ticino, we suggest other interesting itineraries:

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