Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Greeting from The President of the Swiss Confederation on 1. August 2013

Now that I am an "Auslandsschweizer" (Swiss abroad) yet again, I feel even more patriotic when 1.August comes around. During our expatriation to Argentina - years ago and feeling slightly homesick -  I insited that my newlywed hubby accompany me to the 1. August party held at the Swiss Club of Buenos Aires. I was the only person to speak Swiss German, the other guests turned out to be second or third generation Swiss with very little knowledge of German or Swiss German. However, it was there that I discovered that the President of the Confederation holds a speech specifcally for the Swiss abroad that is broadcasted thoughout all the Swiss Clubs across the globe. It actually reminded me a bit of the Queen's Christmas speech.

You will find below this year's message of greeting from President of the Confederation Ueli Maurer to the Swiss Abroad.

Dear Swiss Abroad

Today is the first of August. Today is Switzerland's birthday, and Swiss nationals – wherever they are living – are celebrating our common home.

I would like to stress three points that typify the relationship between Switzerland and yourselves:
Openness to the world, Swiss roots, and the essential role of the home country.

Switzerland has always been a country that is open to the world, and the same is true of its citizens.

There is also a long tradition of emigration. In previous centuries people emigrated to escape from poverty. Many places in North and South America are still named after their Swiss founders.

Today the wish for new experiences and job openings in Switzerland's global business network are the main reasons that prompt Swiss people to go and live abroad.

This traditional openess to the world has become their personal lifestyle. They have left Switzerland, perhaps for a short period, perhaps forever. Switzerland is a long way away in geographical terms but also sometimes in mental terms.

But this does not mean that they have turned their backs on Switzerland. They have not forgotten their roots.

I believe this is a strategy for success, for individuals and for the whole country: Keeping your eyes open, learning new things, exploiting the chances that arise, but at the same time knowing one's roots and preserving one's roots. Because those who lose or who deny their roots are giving up on themselves.

This brings me to the valuable role played by the home country... The home country is where we have our roots. Wherever people are living today, they know that there is a place in the world that will always be their home. A place, to which they feel attached, and where we are also attached to them.

This is the essence of the home country. People can come home whenever they want and they know there will be a welcome for them – because they are part of our community, our Switzerland.

We have common ideals: Peace, freedom, the rule of law, and direct democracy. Together we are this country, and this country also includes the Swiss citizens who live outside our borders.

On behalf of the Federal Council, I send my greetings to all Swiss citizens everywhere in the world.
Today let us rejoice in the fact that there is a small but free country in the world that is our home.

The Swiss Club in Buenos Aires

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

1.August Brunch 2013

Switzerland's National holiday is approaching fast.

The 1.August Brunch has become a popular activity on our National Day. For the past 20 years Swiss farmers have been inviting city dwellers (Swiss and foreign alike) for brunch on a farm. Last year over 220'000 guests enjoyed the culinary adventure offered by 410 farms throughout Switzerland. Through this movement the farmers' families wish to promote a better understanding and sympathy of local agriculture by the city population.

The 1. August Brunch is an occasion that one should not miss. Hosted by selected Swiss farms who offer you a brunch, they will provide you with the opportunity to taste different kinds of cheese, meat, milk, bread, müesli and many other gastronomic specialities in a very particular atmosphere. You'll also have the certainty to try some excellent products with high quality standard's. If you're lucky you'll enjoy some typical Swiss music, meet a Swiss celebrity, be served out of a giant Roesti frying pan or admire some amazing National costumes. The kids will love all the direct contact with the farms' animals.

Book now for a brunch in one of the farms! Click here to find a list of Ticino's participating farmers.
For a detailed guide with info such as activites, animals or produce for sale click on the following link:

My favourite so far is: Alpe Duragno at the top of Monte Tamaro. See purple trail on map.
The Agriturismo Ponte di Vello in Breno looks intriguing. My friends recommend the farms on top of Monte Generoso.

As places in the farms are limited, registration is mandatory and better done early. You can register by telephoning the farmers directly before July 30th 2013. There are still quite a few spots left as of this morning. Please communicate how many children and adults you'll be.

Venue: 1.August Brunch
When: Thursday, August 1st, 2013
Time: 9:00 - 13:00
Price: CHF 20.- to 35.-
Directions: All participating farms will be signposted with the logo: «Brunch»
For more info:
Tel: 0901 56 43 43 on workdays from 8:00 bis 12:00 and from 13.00 to 17:00
or  091 851 90 90 for the Ticino.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Baking for Swiss National Day

August 1st is Swiss National Day. Of course, the traditional Bratwurst and Cervelat spring to mind. In the Ticino it would probably be the Luganighetta or Brasato con Polenta. However, I have a rather sweet tooth and therefore like to focuse on the sweet part of the meal.

This year I'll be baking Swiss muffins with a little help from Back-Art, a company based in Zurich from whom I have been ordering all my baking supplies online for years.

Edible Swiss butterflies seem like the perfect inspiration. A nice change from the square tradtional Swiss worries, we will have plenty of those posted in the garden.

So get out your baking gear and start making your favourite muffins, top them with some icing or whipped cream and stick a patriotic butterfly on top. Voilà!

If you are looking for a delicious chocolate muffin recipe check out my recipe blog here:

Happy 1.August to all of my readers!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Evening Group dinner and wine tasting in Mendrisiotto 28.7.13

The very active and fun Evening group of the IWCL (International Womens' Club of Lugano) has picked a Sunday to help you discover the charming and wild nature of Mendrisiotto! They have organized a great dinner and wine tasting in beautiful Besazio and, upon request, they will be happy to organize a museum visit or a walk before the gathering. Do get in touch fast if you would like to participate.

There will be activities provided for the little people so no need for a babysitter as they will have one there taking care of them. What more can you ask for?

Venue: Evening Group dinner and wine tasting in Mendrisiotto
Date: Sunday, 28th July, 2013
Time: 18:00
Price: CHF 50 adults CHF 25 children (free under 3 years old)
*Menu: Delicious food by our host Paolo from Osteria Palazzetta Wines from our good friend Nerida Deganis at:
Location: Ristorante Palazzetta Via Bustelli 16 6863 Besazio

Kindly RSVP to: Sabrina & Carmen,

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Moda sotto le stelle in Lugano 2013

You might have heard of "Moda sotto le stelle" in Rome, the illustrious fashion show where world famous models glide down the Spanish stairs under a starry Italian sky wearing the most exquisite fashion by world renowned designers such as Valentino, Armani and Cavalli.

Well, Lugano is not quite there.....YET..... but this weekend you can enjoy the Ticinese version of "Moda sotto le Stelle" where Lugano will turn fashion capital par excellence thanks to the Swiss National Chamber of Fashion. 

Gai Mattiolo, Rocco Barocco, Pierre Cardin and Alessandra Gucci are just some of the famous designers who have been part of past editions on the catwalk in Lugano.

The aim is to allow the signatures "Made in Switzerland" to put their creations on display next to the most influential names in the fashion world. It is a real opportunity for fashion designers and entrepreneurs to gain visibility and to create professional showcases.

This year's programme consists of: 
17:30 Presentation Designers of "Made in Switzerland" and International fashion designer - Hôtel De La Paix (entry by invitation)
19:00 Fashion Dinner - Hôtel De La Paix (entry fee)
20:30 Red Carpet - Piazza Manzoni
21:00 Fashion Show Fashion Under the Stars - Piazza Manzoni (free entry)

The Red Carpet Show "Fashion under the Stars" begins at 20:30 in Piazza Manzoni and the best part is that the entry is free.

In case of bad weather the event will take place at the Hôtel De La Paix.
Official website

So off you go and see Lugano at its best under a romantic sky filled with glittery stars and you might catch a glimps of George Clooney who seems to be in the neighbourhood. ;)

Venue: Moda sotto le stelle (
Where: Piazza Manzoni, 6900 Lugano
When: Saturday, July 27th, 2013
Time: 20:30
Entry: free

Monday, July 22, 2013

The perfect Swiss adventure for your family

Find your ideal family adventures from more than 1,200 excursion ideas throughout Switzerland. The Swiss tourist board has come up with a brilliant App called "Family Trips" available for iPads, iPhones, Android smartphones and Windows 8. It suggests a wealth of fun days out for the whole family. You can narrow down your search by using a variety of criteria. The Family Trips can also suggest family-friendly accommodation suitable for your next journey of exploration.

So what are you waiting for? Download the app and have some fun choosing which adventure to go on with your kids.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Swiss Alp Cheese - only in Summer

Alp cheese is only produced in the summer - with milk from the cows, goats or sheep that graze on the Alpine pastures. It is only when the milk production and cheese making take place on the mountains themselves that the cheese may be called Alp cheese.

Since the 15th century, people living north of the Alps have been using rennet – a substance from the stomach of a cow – to make hard cheeses. This hard cheese was greatly appreciated because it was much more durable than the cottage cheese that people had been making before. It allowed them to create a milk supply for the winter. This is how the foundations of the Swiss cheese culture were laid...

Until the 18th century, hard cheese was made only in the summer in the Alps. The milk yields of those times meant that the cows were dry for a long time in the winter. This changed in the early 19th century, when the practice of intensive agriculture enabled cheese to be produced in the valleys and during the winter – i.e. at times when the cows were being fed hay. The cheese made year-round in the valleys in the mountainous regions is now known as mountain cheese - to distinguish it from Alp cheese.

The term Alp cheese is protected and may only be used for cheeses that are made in summer on the Alpine farms. The cows graze freely on the mountains and seek out their own food on the rich, lush Alpine pastures. Their summer home in the mountains gives them a culinary high, as here they enjoy eating hundreds of different herbs – as opposed to only a few dozen types in the valleys. This healthy food diversity, the great freedom of movement and the crystal clear mountain water creates tasty raw milk that can be gently made into cheese while still at body temperature and without the need for major transport routes.

The limited duration of production and the varying storage times mean that Alp cheeses are not always available everywhere. However, this makes it a very desirable speciality. The cheese may be directly obtained in the Alps during the summering season.

In Switzerland there are many smaller and larger cheese dairies, including many Alpine dairies. There you can not only watch the cheese makers at work, but often, under their expert guidance, you can lend a hand yourself. The cheese cellars are also worth a visit as here hundreds of cheeses can be stored in the one place and in the correct way.

Taste the Alp cheese yourself by hiking through the Piora Valley which is a synonym for the prestigious Piora cheese that you absolutely can't miss. This renowned cheese is attributed to the fodder quality of the pasture, as well as to the rich aromatic flora. During the summer you can find about 500 grazing cows in the Piora valley. The annual cheese production reaches about 3000 pieces (23'000kg). They are pressed in moulds for twelve hours and matured for six months. It is worth the hike! Buon Appetito!

For more information check out the following link:

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Swiss' obsession for order

“Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man.”
Henry Adams

Only in Switzerland will you bump into an artist like Mr. Wehrli, a Swiss artist who likes to put things in order and is on a crusade to tidy up art. His vision is a cleaner, more organized, tidier form of art. He is the author of Tidying Up Art, a visionary manifesto that yearns toward a more rational, more organized and cleaner form of modern art.

My guess is that it is an intriguing way to produce art and fun to watch as long as Mr. Wehrli does not lose his sense of humour.

Watch Mr.Wehrli presenting his concept  with a good dose of humour:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fairy Tale time in Lugano

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
Albert Einstein

It's Fairy Tale time in Lugano.... in six different languages. Pick and choose your language and take time out to listen to a fairy tale with your kids along the beautiful shore of Lake Lugano.

The Family Festival is part of Lugano's Long Lake Festival. A native narrator will read a traditional story in his/her mother tongue.

On Thursday, July 11th it will be an English afternoon. Nicky Hildebrant will read "The Gruffalo", "The Gruffalo's Child", "The Smartest Giant in Town" and "Room on the Broom" by Julia Donaldson. These are four of my kids' favourite books and definately worth listening to.

For more info on the English reading click here:

Head down to the Parco Ciani to the Park'n'Read area at 16:00. In case of rain the reading with be held at the newly inaugurated Darsena in the Parco Ciani. That in itself is worth checking out.

Here is the programme for the week:
8.7.13: Italian
9.7:13: French
10.7.13: Russian
11.7.13 English
12.7.13 German
13.7.13: Turkish
14.7.13: Italian

For info on the programme click here:

Sit back and enjoy a warm summer moment with your kids at the lake!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Happy Summer 2013

Friday, July 5, 2013

Open Gallery #5 in Lugano

Following the success of the Open Gallery event held in Lugano during past Longlake Festivals, OPEN GALLERY #5 will be held on Sunday, July 7th, 2013. For the occasion, Lugano's art galleries will be open to the public between 15:00-20:00. Take advantage of the free entrance to museums and galleries and discover the places in town where art is the protagonist.

Click on the following link for detailed info and a list of particpating locations:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

Over the past decade there has been more and more talk about TCK (Third Culture Kid). I am glad I can finally put a word/defintion to my syndrome. Here I was - all those years growing up in Zurich - thinking it was me, that I was the weird one.... just kidding, it was not that bad. Zurich was, is and always will be my home.

Today I came across this list of "31 Signs You're a Third Culture Kid". It is the best, funniest and truest list I have seen so far. I hope it makes you smile as much as it did me.

Happy reading:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Moon & Stars Festival in Locarno 2013

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."
Victor Hugo

Amidst the unique scenery of the Piazza Grande, Locarno will celebrate the Moon and Stars Festival as of July 4th. The Piazza Grande holds 12,000 visitors whom will be welcome for ten days at the 'Locarno Lounge' which changes its look and becomes a stage for great international pop-rock performers.

While still 'young', the Locarno event is already a must for the tours of musicians and singers, many now calling it the 'Montreux of the Southern Alps'. For fans, Moon & Stars Locarno is a unique chance to listen to and admire international artists, where quality music becomes the soundtrack for the entire city.

 The following artists will perform at Piazza Grande in Locarno:

ZZ Top - Thursday,4th July 2013
Amy Macdonald - Friday, 5th July 2013
Die Toten Hosen- Saturday, 6th July 2013
Santa - Sunday, 7th July 2013
Green Day - Monday, 8th July 2013
Depeche Mode - Tuesday, 9th July 2013
Zucchero - Wednesday, 10th July 2013
Mark Knopfler  - Thursday, 11th July 2013
Bryan Adams - Friday, 12th July 2013
Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Sunday, 14th July 2013

Presale by:
Ticketcorner 0900 800 800 (1.19/Min.) or
post offices, Manor, Railway stations SBB and presale-offices Ticketcorner

So if you can still find a ticket, it will definately be worth a trip up the valley from Lugano to Locarno.
For more info click here:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...