Nestled on the northern shore of glacial Lake Lugano in Switzerland’s Italian-speaking Ticino region, Lugano city offers visitors an enticing mix of Swiss-Italian cultures. Lugano is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Switzerland, as the city is home to a number of historic buildings and museums, whilst the surrounding area has many natural sights. This charming town boasts Mediterranean art and architecture that is married with Swiss rustic beauty and Alpine charm.
Funiculars ascending Monte Brè provide panoramic views of the Lugano countryside. Once at the top, a visitor’s gaze reaches as far as Italy. At its summit, 925 metres above sea level, there are two restaurants offering regional and Mediterranean cuisine. Monte Brè is touted as Switzerland’s sunniest mountain, and the abundance of sunlight nourishes the Christmas rose, a flower that usually only thrives in Mediterranean climates.
Monte San Salvatore is a monolith on the southern skyline, cresting at more than 900 metres.
At the top visitors are awestruck by the 360-degree views of Lugano, the lake and Alps to the west. Hiking paths await, for those adventurous enough to tackle the trails. In fact, these trails are among a network of hiking trails and more than 300 kilometres (190 mi) of mountain-biking paths that are the largest in Switzerland.
Lugano’s main square, Piazza della Riforma, is ringed with Italian-inspired neoclassical palazzi. The medieval Church of St. Mary of the Angels directly off the lakeside promenade, might be a fairly plain and unimpressive Renaissance church of Romanesque style—from the outside. Step inside, however, and visitors are awestruck with the renowned frescoe by Italian artist Bernardino Luini— the ‘Passion and Crucifixion’—noted as the most famous frescoe of that period in Switzerland.
This lakefront promenade, known as the Lungolago, is flanked by trees, sculptures and gardens making it a perfect destination for an afternoon stroll. And don’t forget Lugano’s old town, which boasts chic, red-tiled roof upmarket boutiques, jewelry shops and cafes hiding under the archways lining the pedestrian streets.
For music lovers, Lugano does not disappoint. Notable summer events include Estival Jazz, that arrives to the lakefront town in July. Between July and August, there is the LongLake Festival, one of the greatest open-air happenings in Switzerland. The Blues-to-Bop Festival arrives in late August and early September, turning the city into a buzzing destination of activity as thousands crowd the streets and piazzas for free open-air concerts.
Easier to Get to and Enjoy Lugano—and Milan—this Summer Season
Lugano Airport is strategically located just 6km from the centre of Lugano, and only a 40-minute drive to Milan. With Milano Linate Airport closing from 27 July – 27 October this year, Lugano Airport is the choice entry point for business jet travellers seeking easy access to Italy’s fashion capital, if Lugano’s attractive offerings don’t lure visitors to change their travel itineraries and stay put.
ExecuJet’s Lugano FBO, in strategic partnership with Lugano Airport, provides flyers with amenities that include:
From there, one can explore all that Lugano has to offer, or travel onto Milan; Davos (2.5 hours by car, 30 mins by helicopter); or St. Moritz (2.5 hours by car, 15 - 20 mins by aircraft).
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