Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter in Lugano

No matter if you are in town as a visitor or have decided to have a staycation in Lugano, don't miss all the action going on down town this coming Easter weekend.

Join the festive atmosphere of "Pasqua in Città" (Easter in the City) and explore the numerous intriguing and entertaining activities for young and old.

Every day from Friday, April 18th to Monday, April 21st starting at 11 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. each of the main city squares will be hosting a different entertainment programme. The public will have the opportunity of purchasing many local products in the over 100 stalls that will be set up in Piazza Riforma, Via Nassa, Piazza Dante, Via Pessina and Via Soave.

Pasqua in Città will transform the city centre into a fun and amusing stage with the help of Street Animations.

You'll even find a “Rabbit’s Den” in Piazza della Riforma dedicated to children which will feature children’s make-up artists, egg painting activities, Henne tatoos and a ludobus. During the whole event, three funny rabbits will be distributing sweet little chocolate eggs.

Sounds like an event that is not to be missed. Let's just hope the weather keeps up!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Back to the future in Lugano

Remember the movie "Back to the future"?  You can now go back in time without jumping aboard a DeLorean at 88 miles per hour.

LugaNow is the easiest way to take a look at the past of Lugano. This app was born in February 2012, when Loris Trotti and Ramon Montanes-Rossi sought a way to unite their individual talents in a new project that was both useful and capable of capturing the imagination of a large segment of the public.

The most logical solution was to pair Trotti’s background in history and literature with the expertise of Montanes in the areas of graphics and technology. They came up with the concept of a historical encyclopaedia contained in a smartphone: and thus the app LugaNow came into being, a time machine with which one can take a peek into the past or the future of Lugano.

The images displayed in augmented reality are not fictitious but authentic photographs and old postcards, for most kindly made ​​available by Jansonius Art Gallery.

Check it out for yourself right here:

Monday, April 7, 2014

A really special sleepover

As much fun as a sleepover at home is, there’s always the option to take it one step further. From putting up a tent in the garden to actually sleeping in a barn!

The "Schlaf im Stroh" Association presents bed and breakfast accommodation on farms where you literally sleep in straw! They offer adventures of a very special kind – perfect for the spring or summer holidays or just for the weekend.

The farming families participating in this programme meet the quality standards set by the association and are permitted to use the protected "Schlaf im Stroh" trademark. The host farms are inspected on a regular basis. Each has something unique to offer.

You choose a farm in the region of your choice and book your "sleep in straw" experience directly with the host family. You bring your sleeping bag; blankets are provided by the hosts. Many of them also offer pillows.

Ask your hosts about any additional services and facilities they offer, such as additional meals, recreational activities and so forth.

Sleeping in straw as a group is great fun as well. I dare admit, we organised a hen night in the straw a few years back. It felt like being a kid again. We giggled and chatted all night long! Go ahead and experience a truly unforgettable night with your family or friends.

Accommodation/night including breakfast range from CHF 20.- to 30.- for adults and CHF 10.- to 15.- for kids up to 15 years.

Click here to see the 2014 catalogue:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Do you speak Swiss German?

„Do you speak Swiss German?“

Just a few foreigners will answer this question with “yes”. Most of the people visiting Switzerland are impressed by the Swiss linguistic diversity. Switzerland combines four official languages in one small country: French, Italian, Romansh - and Swiss German. This special dialect which is spoken in the German areas of Switzerland, is a curiosity to many visitors. Even if you are able to understand German you will not necessarily be able to keep up when Swiss people talk to each other.

The app “Grüezi Switzerland” is the first mobile travel guide for Switzerland including a Swiss German language guide for the major Swiss German dialects. So the communication can work right from the beginning, or at least you can give it a try if you feel like it.

Shopping & Dining Guide: The app offers a lot more. You can find your favorite brand with a brand finder, with lists in shopping and dining.

Top attractions: The app also offers top attractions for the most popular destinations. A special feature is a list of webcams that provide a virtual insight in real time for every attraction.

My Postcard: an easy-to-use smartphone service for mailing to your friends and family. A postcard service that allows you to send personalized postcards through your smartphone. Your picture and greetings will be transmitted to a printer, which prints the cards and guarantees the shipment.

This app is an all-inclusive package for travellers, new residents, and all those who want to become Swiss. You can download the app here. So go ahead, find out more about typical Swiss events, Swiss kitchen and other curiosities of Switzerland... and give it your best shot when speaking Swiss German!

Should you already master the magical Swiss German, why not test yourself with the Dialäkt App?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy pranks for April Fool's Day

April Fools’ practical jokes, tricks and pranks should be done in good fun and not meant to harm anyone. The best jokes, tricks and pranks are the clever ones where everyone laughs, especially the person who had the joke played on them.

1. Scrape the cream out of oreo cookies and fill them with white toothpaste!.
2. Put cereal and milk and spoon in the bowl and then put in the freezer before you go to bed. Set it out for them in the morning.
3. Add food coloring to milk that comes in a cardboard container.
4. Superglue some coins to the sidewalk or any spot that has a lot of people walking around. Make sure it’s an appropriate place, then watch people break fingernails to get the coins.
5. Fill a glass with water. Add food dye so it matches the color of whatever juice you have in your refrigerator. Serve the “juice” to your family. They will be expecting something sweet and getting water so it will taste funny at first. Don’t forget to watch the funny faces they make!
6. Borrow someone’s cell phone and change the language setting to a foreign language.
7. Tape a bike horn behind the door, squishy side in – so the door slams into the horn.  They will jump when the door “honks” at them.
8. Bring multiple sets of clothes to work/school, change every hour, and act like nothing’s different.
9. Take the door knob off a door and put it back on backwards, then lock it and leave the door open.
10. Tape magnets to the bottom of a cup, put it on the roof of your car and drive around.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Summer Camps 2014 around Lugano

We all know the Swiss are organized. This is why the Summer Camps are advertised as of March already. Following is a list of available courses including dates and links for application.

The most extensive list of summer camps is without a doubt to be found under Just click on the course and it will give you more details.

Supertata Alessia offers great kids clubs for the little ones:
In July special partnership between Kids' Klub and the Montessori school ( Programmes will be open to children ages 4-12. For infos and more details:

More Sport Kids Week Summer camp in Tenero:

Tasis, the American School in Switzerland:
Check out the TASIS Summer Programs in Lugano and in Chateau d'Oex.

Active English, Lago di Como:

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Expat Expo in Lugano

Just a little reminder: Expat Expo is on tomorrow. Don't miss THE Expat event of the year!

If you are an expat you surely have heard about the Expat Expo that is returning to Lugano for the third year. If not, this is your chance to get to meet and greet many expats and like-minded locals who are offering their services, knowledge, expertise and products.

50 exhibitors from all over Switzerland along with many local companies and clubs from Lugano will be on hand to greet you and introduce you to their specialties and make you feel more at home in Ticino, whether you are here for a week or a lifetime! Join them for a day of discovery!

The Expat Expo was a huge success last year and lots of fun. It is a chance to meet and learn about clubs, schools, businesses and services that cater to the English speaking community in the Ticino.

Find more info at

Venue: 3rd Expat-Expo Lugano
Where: Palazzo dei Congressi, Piazza Indipendenza 4, 6900 Lugano
When: Sunday, March 30th, 2014
Time: 11:00 - 17:00
Free admission!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

International School of Ticino

There's a new kid in town. The International School of Como is opening a new section in Lugano called International School of Ticino.

The programme is welcoming students aged 3 to 6 to start. ISC will open an Early Years school in Lugano, more precisely in Lamone. For several months they have been working on its organization and start-up, as well as the construction work that has progressed rapidly. The new building will be ready at the end of March, and an Open Day will be organized as well as a visit to the facility for those of you who would like to attend.

For more info, you can meet the team directly at the Expat Expo on Sunday, March 30th, 2014 and learn more about the school or give them a call.

International School of Ticino
Tel: +41-91/971'03'44
International School of Como
Tel. +39-031/57'22'89

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Take a Ticino photo for the Education Guide Switzerland

Today, I have a photographic challenge to propose to you:

Would you like to see your photograph published in the 2nd edition of Education Guide Switzerland due out end-of-May this year? It is a comprehensive catalogue of all English language schools and academic programs in Switzerland.

The organizers ( are looking for one winning photo per canton. Each photo will be used as a full-page canton chapter separator. There are also have a few extra categories like “Academic Extras”, “Just Across the Border”, and “Other” which you can explore in the first edition of the book. They'll consider entries for those chapters as well.

- Send in 1 photo per email (put EDUCATION PHOTO COMPETITION in subject line) to specifying which canton it is for. - Each photo must have a recognizable name and not a series of numbers and must be digital or scanned. ONLY photos sent by email or through the website will be accepted.
- You must give your name, address, and telephone numbers to be eligible.
- Photos should have something to do with education, schools, universities, or the canton. Views of listed campuses and views from listed campuses are welcome.
- Any photos that include recognizable faces of minor children will require signed permission from parents. Signed permissions are the entire responsibility of the photographer.
- Finished size of photo used will be A5 vertical (148mm x 210mm). Photos will be cropped by Know-it-all passport® publishing to visually fit the page.
- There are no maximum number of photos that can be submitted.
 -The better the quality of the photo, the more likely it will be considered.
- Color photographs, please, but not necessary.
- Amateur and professional photographers are welcome to submit their entries.
- All ages can participate.

- Each winner will each receive one copy of Education Guide Switzerland, 2nd Edition hot-off-the-press.
- The winners will be invited on a specific day to come to see the book being printed in Geneva at l’Imprimerie Nationale Rochat Baumann (transport not included).
- The winner’s name will be printed along with their photo in Education Guide Switzerland, 2nd Edition.
- The winning photos (and some honorable mentions) as well as a photo of the visit to Imprimerie Nationale Rochat Baumann visit will be published on the website
- The winners will be notified individually.
- The winners and their photos may also enjoy being featured on various multimedia platforms, including but not limited to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

DEADLINE: is Monday, March 31st, 2014 at midnight!

So, head out and about the Ticino to take your special photo that will make it into the next edition of Switzerland's Education Guide.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Furniture stores around Lugano

Are you feeling the spring coming? Reckon it is time for a little redecoration? Have the latest fashion colours inspired you? Or are you simply relocating and searching for furniture stores?

Following is a list of furniture stores that will keep you busy for the next few weekends, should you consider a relook of your living quarters:

Salvioni in Lugano: (via Ferruccio Pelli 2, 6900 Lugano)
Interni Arredamenti SA in Lugano: via Pioda 14, 6900 Lugano
Kartell in Lugano:  (via G. B. Pioda 9, 6900 Lugano)
Ikea in Grancia: (
Interior in Contone: (
Pfister in Contone: (
Delcó Mobili in S. Antonino: (
Lipo in Grancia and in Contone: (
Conforama in Grancia: (
Toptip in Bioggio: (
Expo Arredo in Mendrisio: (via Vignalunga 2c, 6850 Mendrisio)
Grancasa in Mendrisio: (Via Francesco Borromini 5, 6850 Mendrisio)
Bernasconi in Mendrisio: (via Borromini 3, 6850 Mendrisio)
Abitare in Giubiasco: (via Baragge 13d, 6512 Giubiasco)
Arredopiu in Varese: (
Mondo Convenienza in Como: (

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