Lugano is a city in southern Switzerland’s Italian-speaking Ticino region. Its Swiss-Mediterranean mix of cultures is closely related to that of Italy’s northern Lombardy region. This mix is reflected in its architecture and cuisine. The city stands on the northern shore of glacial Lake Lugano, surrounded by mountains. Its main square, Piazza della Riforma, is ringed with pastel-colored, neoclassical palazzi.
Lake Lugano is nestled between Lake Maggiore and Lake Como and lies partly in Switzerland and partly in Italy. It’s footprint straddles the Swiss-Italian border with 67% of its surface area falling within the Canton of Ticino, Switzerland, and 33% of it in the Lombardy Region of Northern Italy.
Although the smallest of the three lakes, Lake Lugano lacks for nothing in beauty, character or charm and its Mediterranean type climate ensures it remains popular all year round with visitors from around the world. Lake Lugano is unique in the sense that when viewed from above its shape takes on the form of a river that twists and turns its way through the Ticino (French – Tessin) landscape. This is emphasised by the fact that even at its widest point the lake only manages to span a maximum distance of around 3km from shore to shore. But these characteristics and the myriad of picturesque Venetian-style villages found clinging to its rugged shoreline are some of the very things that make Lake Lugano the popular tourist destination that it is today.
Lake Lugno’s waters and mountainous backdrop make the region a haven for watersports, hiking, trekking, mountain-biking, horse-riding, sailing, golfing and various other outdoor pursuits. While the towns and villages around the lake like Gandria, Morcote, Carona, Porlezza, Melide, San Mamete and Campione d’Italia offer visitors a world of history and culture with their medieval churches, art galleries, museums and sub-tropical parks and gardens.