The largest city in the holiday region of Ticino is not only Switzerland’s third most important financial centre and a hub for Congress, banks and businesses but also the city of parks and flowers, villas and sacred buildings. With a Mediterranean flair, Lugano offers all the benefits of a global city whilst at the same time maintaining the intimacy of a small town.
From a geographical standpoint, the region is a crossroads between Central Europe and Italy. Despite, or perhaps as a result of its transitory nature, the region has succeeded in preserving its intrinsic and distinctive characteristics, all of which give it a particularly unique ‘personality’.
Strict environmental protection legislation has spared the city from excessive urbanisation and a blend of mountains, hills and plains guarantee that your holiday will have variety, whatever the season. It could be a hike through perfectly unspoilt villages at nearly 2000m altitude, a refreshing swim in one of the mountain lakes or one of any number of sporting activities. And don't forget; plenty of opportunities to do business and some serious shopping!
The region of Lake Lugano is simply irresistible with its vast array of attractions.
Our Tip: The weekly market in Lugano has a large variety of local produce from small farms and producers selling direct. The market is located right in the middle of the town.
The Villa Fogazzaro is located in Oria Valsolda overlooking Lake Lugano. In 2009, the Marquis Roi donated the villa to the FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano, a foundation for the preservation of Italian heritage). It was formerly the summer residence of Antonio Fogazzaro, the author of “Piccolo Mondo Antico” or “Little World of the Past” as it is known in English. The villa still contains, to this day, the author’s furniture, books and artefacts.
Lake Como is one of the Alpine Lakes. 55km long and with a depth of 410m, the lake is one of the deepest in Europe. On account of the mild climate, lush vegetation prevails all around. The lake splits in the middle to form an inverted Y-shape and at either end are the two largest towns of Lecco and Como. The area surrounding the lake is not just famous for its stunning natural beauty; industry has also made a name for itself here, especially the manufacture of silk which makes up a large proportion of the world’s silk production.
Our Tip: The villas are the main attraction for many visitors to the Lake Como area. From the small and charming, the swish and elegant to the huge and swanky, they are an architectural joy to behold. Many of them also dazzle with beautiful gardens and parks full of plants and flowers from around the world.
The villa was constructed on a peninsula of Lake Como just adjacent to Bellagio at the bidding of Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini towards the end of the 18th century. Its most recent owner, the explorer Guido Monzino, has left his personal touch; his extensive collection of Chinese, African and pre-Columbian art, English and French furniture from the 18th century and a small museum containing exhibits from his expeditions and discoveries are well worth checking out. The vast split-level gardens at the top of which are three portico-style halls are a true masterpiece. The villa has been used as a location for a number of films including Oceans 12, Star Wars – Episode II and James Bond – Casino Royal.
Daily except Monday and Wednesday (closed on public holidays) 10 – 18h
Last entry: 30 mins before closing
MENAGGIO & CADENABBIA GOLF CLUB
The region of the north Italian lakes is home to some of the most magnificent and traditional golf courses in Europe. Our partner club, the Menaggio & Cadenabbia at Lake Como is only 10 minutes’ drive from the Parco San Marco. Here you’ll find a perfect blend of the traditional English way of life and the relaxed Italian atmosphere of Lake Como. George Clooney, who has made the Como region his second home is one of the regular guests at the golf club, considered one of the most beautiful courses in Europe.
Como has everything you’d expect the Lombard region’s capital to offer. The most established and respected designers have stores here, there is a theatre, several grand museums and a wide-ranging spiritual as well as industrial heritage. Along the lake you will find a long promenade and the Piazza Cavour where boats are moored. Behind, the old town stretches out with a beautiful pedestrian area. Remains of the medieval city walls still stand along the Piazza del Popolo and the Viale Lecco. The Torre di Porta Vittoria, the preserved tower of the city walls stands on the inland side of the old town. The cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is located on a large square close to the lake. Adjacent is the Broletto, the former town hall with a tower from the 13th century.