I am back from Switzerland with some flash cards full of pictures. Ticino is my “father’s land” it is where my father and the father’s part of my family live. I am not really a mountain person, it is ok for 2 days or so but really I love the seaside, deserts, the fjords of Scandinavia, flat land …. but Jonathan loves the mountains and it was time to visit the family. So I “sacrificed” myself and we went to Switzerland.
Lugano is a small, picturesque Lakeside city in the Ticino region, the south of Switzerland. Ticino got the best from its neighbours the other regions of Switzerland and Italy. The culture and especially the food is very much related to that of Italy’s northern Lombardy region. While Bellinzona ist the main City of Ticino, Lugano is clearly the main city when it comes to culture, food and numbers of residents.
The first thing you will discover when you go there is: it is expensive, Ii mean ridiculous expensive. I highly recommend the first thing you do is buy the Ticino discovery card. At the time I am writing this post the card is about 87.- swiss franc, can be used for 3 full days in one week and covers almost everything from the cable cars (funicolare) to the mountains, trains, buses, post bus lines, fees for most of the museums and the best of all the ferries on the lakes. I promise you it is the best investment one can do. Imagine just one boat trip and one cable car to the Monte Bre and your money is back in.
There are three tourist information points in Lugano one is at the station of course and one is at the piazza next to see the lake, that is my favorite one.
Because Switzerland is not part of the EU it can be very expensive to make or receive phone calls. That is why I further recommend buying a prepaid sim card from orange – it costs you (at this date) 10 swiss franc and gives you one gigabyte and 25 swiss franc phone calls. You need your passport to get a sim card inSwitzerland.