The Colours of Lugano, Switzerland

It was a bright and beautiful sunny day when we drove to Lugano, Switzerland from Baveno. The scenery was breathtaking as we drove around Lake Maggiore. The next few photos below were what I called “Hail Mary Shots” because I was taking them from the bus. I kept clicking away hoping that some will turn out okay and they did.

A town nestled in the valley of the prealpine mountains.

You will never see this in Toronto, Ferraris sitting outside in the parking lot!

Lugano, Switzerland

Lugano (sometimes called the “Monte Carlo of Switzerland”) is located by Lake Lugano surrounded by mountains in the south of Switzerland. Due to its proximity to Italy, the border is about 8 km or 5 miles from the centre of town, Lugano is an Italian-speaking city. Lugano is also Switzerland’s third largest financial centre.

Let’s go on a walking tour of Lugano. If you thought the buildings in Baveno were colourful, well Lugano was bursting with colour everywhere you turned! Pinks and yellows and reds and blues and corals decorate the facade of buildings.

Piazza della Riforma

And this wonderful frescoe – isn’t it fun?

Another word to describe the facade of some of the buildings in Lugano – “ornate”.

Bell Tower

The next photo below stopped us dead in our tracks. We had never seen one before. Do you know what it is? Scroll down to the bottom of the photograph for the answer…

Something else you don't see on the streets of Toronto.

Did you figure it out? It’s a charging station for electric cars! I love that they have designated parking spots for electric cars. Not sure if you have to pay for the charge but surely it can’t be more than gas which was around €1.90 when we were there in September of last year.

Goin’ up

We climbed the set of steps below. That is the view from the top. Those were a lot of steps – it sure doesn’t look as impressive from this photo! There are shops and restaurants/cafes along the side of these stairs. So, I suppose you could take your time climbing up, take a break and browse through the wonderful shops.

At the top of those stairs, we turned right and continued climbing. We were rewarded with San Lorenzo Cathedral and a nice panoramic view. This church is very old. The Lugano Tourism site states: “…some writings already in 875 A.C. speak of a church called “Sancti Laurentii in Luano”. It has a facade early renaissance period (1517). Inside the cathedral there are frescoes from the 14th century to the 16th century… the church became a cathedral in 1888″.

The church’s main feature is the facade made of white stone. Above the main doors is a rose window.

The five medallions above the main doors depict four saints on the sides and the middle is of the Virgin Mary with the child Jesus. Do you see the angels on either side of the top of the arch (under the three medallions)? The sun was shining directly on the facade of the church. It was blinding! I’m surprised this photo even turned out as it just looked washed out to me from the direct sunlight.

Now turn yourself right around because in front of the church is this fabulous panoramic view of the mountains, the lake and the city below. It was scorching by the time we got there so we didn’t stay long. Off we went to explore as much as we could of the colourful streets of Lugano.

Colours everywhere!

Here are some examples of the most colourful buildings we saw on our walk:

The delicatessen below sure used the appropriate colours to entice your appetite with red and yellow!

The very pink Cartier building.

Last impressions… Lugano felt more Italian to me and that’s not surprising given its close proximity to Italy. I’ve been to other parts of Switzerland and Lugano is different. Would I come back again? Absolutely to take advantage of the hiking around the area. It’s a great place to relax and catch your breath from the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities.


About May Dayao

Carpe diem!
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18 Responses to The Colours of Lugano, Switzerland

  1. Karen says:

    Thank you for sharing your great photos of Lugano. It is such a lovely part of Switzerland to visit and one of my favorites.

    • Aww thanks so much Karen for your kind words. My husband and I loved Lugano. It was so peaceful and lovely. Those colours just made me so happy! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. 50 States Design Project says:

    This is beautiful. I’ve always wanted to visit Lugano.

    • Then you must go! It is a beautiful city. It’s cosmopolitan, modern but it’s charming – a great place to kick back and relax. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. beautiful photos! I’ve always wanted to visit Switzerland, I live in Europe so it shouldn’t be that hard to do! I especially love the Bell Tower photo. 1.90 euros for a liter of gas is a lot! that’s about what we pay here in Greece, and I thought we had the most expensive gas. thanks for sharing these lovely photos!

    • Hi Heidi! We often complain of the gas prices here in Toronto (last time we filled up at $1.30 Canadian per litre) but we no longer complain when we saw the gas prices across the Atlantic. Switzerland is awesome for hiking. In addition to Lugano, I highly recommend Interlaken and the surrounding area for some great hiking! It’s an inexpensive way to see some awesome scenery. I hope to visit your beautiful country one of these days. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Katharine says:

    I haven’t had the chance yet to visit the Italian speaking region of Switzerland.
    but it look as pretty as the rest of the Switzerland!

    • Agreed, but different no? I’ve only been to Zurich and the Interlaken region and I don’t remember the buildings there being this colourful. However, it has been awhile so my memory might be failing me – lol!

  5. Katharine says:

    haha, all i remember about switzerland was lake side houses, blocks and blocks of pretty colours!
    Lugano definitely has a more relax feel to it, and look more similar with Italy, but it does have that “swiss edge” to it.

  6. Zelmare says:

    You have no idea how envious I am right now… πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing – lovely photographs.

  7. jhan says:

    I’d love to visit Switzerland and the rest of Europe one day too~ Thanks for sharing. BTW, I’m from T.O. too πŸ˜›

    • That is awesome! I am waving hello wherever you are right now (I’m at Queen & University). Maybe a little trip to Europe after your exam in May πŸ™‚ Weather is very comfortable then! Thanks for stopping by!
      P.S. I didn’t get a chance to comment that I like the red purse from the collection you posted on your blog πŸ™‚

      • jhan says:

        I’m by 401 and 404, so not too close to downtown, although I used to work in downtown for many years, so I know all the major streets and the underground paths very well πŸ˜› Miss all the restaurants/bars/cafes and window shopping πŸ˜›
        Yes, Europe is definitely on my agenda for the next few years πŸ™‚ Would love to read more of your travel experiences.

  8. mbcoudal says:

    Thanks for these! I am getting my passport renewed this week so that some day (before my passport expires) I will get to Switzerland again.

  9. I love the second photograph – a really great composition. Also, the frescoes you found are great! I happen to notice in the comment above that you have been to the Interlaken region? I went snowboarding around there a few years ago – staying in Lauterbrunnen and travelling up the mountain by train and cable car to Wengen everyday. Such a beautiful area in the winter! I can imagine it’s equally as stunning in the summer!

    • May Dayao says:

      That’s awesome! We also stayed in Lauterbrunnen and hiked around Grindelwald, Murren, Gimmelward, Stechelberg to Trummelbach Falls. We even went under a glacier. We went in May and it was beautiful! We came across fields of wildflowers! The weather was perfect!
      My husband snowboards and I ski. I tried to learn snowboarding, but I couldn’t get past the fact that I could be going down the beginner hill so much faster on my skis – lol! I suppose I could try to pick it up again as I still have my gear.
      I would love to go back so I will definitely consider going there in the winter πŸ™‚ Thanks so much!

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