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Lugano tourist attractions, activities, sightseeing, travel guide.

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Lugano Events and Festivals

Eestival Jazz
Jun - Jul (annual)
Piazza della Riforma
Lugano’s Jazz Festival is the major musical event in the southern part of Switzerland. It was established in the heart of the town, in the magnificent Piazza della Riforma and the adjacent town of Mendrisio. This fest attracts annually thousands fans of the jazz music, all concerts are performed open-air and are free!
Autumn Festival
September - October (annual)

The town of Lugano says farewell to the summer and welcomes the autumn at its annual “Festa d'autunno” festival. The beautiful town hosts an interesting fair, serving local specialties and Ticinese wine, along with plenty of live folk music.
Additionally to the delicious food, a variety of entertainment keeps visitors occupied and with high spirits, with musicians and numerous street artists performing across the city.

Villa Favorita

Villa Favorita

Baron von Thyssen-Bornemisza was one of the world’s greatest art collectors - his holdings rivaled only by Queen Elizabeth II. In a seventeenth century mansion, Villa Favorita has been greatly reduced in scope but what art remains is also worth a visit. One will find paintings by Lucien Freud, Giorgio de Chirico, Andrew Wyeth, Jackson Pollock and Edward Hopper. Even if one is not interested in art, the gardens are also worth a visit – beautifully planted with both regional and various exotic floras.

Lugano Villa Favorita

Villa Heleneum
Situated on four kilometers northwest of Lugano, this landmark edifice is along the much-frequented walk to Gandria. Villa Heleneum contains the Museum of Extra-European Cultures, which displays various objects from Africa, Indonesia and Oceania. Museum’s collection was donated by Serge Brignoni, an exponent of the surrealist movement. There is also a center for ethnographic studies and a library within the museum.

Swiss Miniature Village

Small duplicates of the major edifices in Switzerland are exhibited along a labyrinth of asphalt paths, where one will find also a miniature of the twin castles in Sion. Here one can purchase and an official guidebook for more detailed explanations. This attraction of Lugano is particularly popular with children.
Lugano tourist office offers a free walking tour with a guide on Monday morning, April to October, which tours depart from the Chiesa degli Angioli at piazza Luini.

Parco Civico

Parco Civico

Parco Civico is a beautiful town park along Lugano Lake. There is located the Palazzo dei Congressi, the Casino, and the Villa Ciani art museum. During the summer various outdoor concerts are held here.

Lugano Parco Civico


Cattedrale di San Lorenzo (St. Lawrence)

Cathedral San Lorenzo Lawrence

This cathedral in the Old Town was initially a Romanesque church and was reconstructed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and overhauled in the 17th and 18th centuries. It has 3 exceptional Renaissance doorways and a baroque interior. Look for the sixteenth century tabernacle at the end of the south aisle - it was designed by the Rodari brothers of Maroggia.


Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angeli (Church of St. Mary of the Angels)

This is another impressive church lying on the south side of the resort. The church was erected at the end of the fifteenth century and is renowned throughout the Ticino for its frescoes by Bernardino Luini, the Lombard painter.


Nearby Attractions & tours
Maybe the best way to discover the beautiful small lakeside villages around the town of Lugano is by bike – you can rent one rent at the railway station. Supply yourself with a good map from the tourist office and head for the nature reserve of Origlio Lake, proceeding to Ponte Capriasca, where you can visit a parish church with a copy of da Vinci’s “Last Supper”. From there one can continue to the Tesserete and Colla villages along the left valley side of Cassarate, going through the majestic woods with a marked trail to Sonvico. On the way back to Lugano you will pass through the nice villages of Dinoa and Ponte di Valle, before Lugano. Overall, this trip is around thirty-seven kilometers and can be done in about four hours.


Lugano Sports and Activities

Lake Lugano Sports

Of course water sports are also very popular in Lugano. Here on can practice Boating, Sailing, Waterskiing, Scuba Diving, Windsurfing, Swimming on the Lugano Lake, as well as biking or play golf and tennis.

Lake Lugano