Sunday, June 28, 2015

Wondering about cost of living

June is the month of moving for many Expats. The school year ends and the families continue their journey onto their next destination. Here is useful tool that calculates the cost of living across the globe.

Numbeo is the world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide. It provides current and timely information on world living conditions including cost of living, housing indicators, health care, traffic, crime and pollution.

So give it a try and see how much a coke or a cup of coffee costs in your new home:

Saturday, June 27, 2015

What do Italians think of PopTarts?

This video is too funny for words. If you live between two worlds such as I (in this case America and Italy) you will enjoy these Italians tasting American candy and voicing their opinion. Admittedly it is junk food but just take it with a pitch of salt.

Italians Try American Sweets For The First Time
Posted by BuzzFeed Video on Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Comparis: Switzerland's favourite comparison service

June is the season of departures and arrivals for Expats. If you are arriving in Ticino, I have just the app for you: Comparis Property Switzerland. You'll find the all listings of the largest property portals at a glance, it searches all listings on, Homegate, Immoscout24, Newhome and other Swiss portals simultaneously.

Comparis is the leading Swiss Internet comparison service. On, consumers can easily and quickly compare rates and services. The site had almost 60 million visitors last year and thus counts among the most widely used Swiss websites.

The Property App allows you to quickly and easily check out the current offers on the real estate market throughout Switzerland. There is also a Car App, an health Insurance App and a Mortgage App.

The Car Market App allows you to quickly and easily check out the current offers on the car market wherever you are.

With the Health Insurance App you can compare the premiums for 2015 from all Swiss health insurance providers and save plenty of money.

The Mortgage App always keeps you up to date on the daily interest rates. With the help of push notifications you can additionally create a personal interest alarm.

For more info click here to enter Comparis site:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Long Lake Festival 2015

Summer will be hitting Lugano tomorrow in the form of the LongLake Festival. The 5th International Festival proposes entertainment, theatre and dance shows, concerts as well as a lot of activities for kids. To better acquaint yourself with the ongoing events, the LongLake Festival has been split in six different Festivals: Rock’n’More Festival Lugano, Classica Festival Lugano, Buskers Festival Lugano, Urban Art Festival Lugano, Family Festival Lugano, Words Festival Lugano as well as many other side events Plus.

There is so much going on, you'll just have to check out the programme for yourself to see what tickles your fancy. Here you go:

Or else you can stroll down town and enjoy a nice warm sunny evening walk along the lakeside and just go with the flow. While you are sitting on a bench contemplating the beautiful view, you can download the app here:

With over 300,000 visitors, the international LongLake Festival, confirmes itself as one of the greatest urban open air happenings in Switzerland. Don't miss it!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The three most important personality characteristics necessary for a successful expat life

If you ask expats to name the top three expat personality traits, this is what they would come up with:
Sense of humour

However, equally important would be:

Finally, it does help if you show:
Willingness to learn

What is your most important characteristic as an Expat?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Changing your attitude when you cannot change the situation

You have learnt that as an expat, sometimes changing your physical circumstances isn't possible, at least not right away.

Changing your perception, belief or opinion of the situation will help you change your attitude.

The Greek philosopher Epictetus said it beautifully more than 2,000 years ago: "People are disturbed, not by things that happen to them, but by the principles and opinions which they form concerning those things. When we are hindered, or disturbed, or grieved, let us never attribute it to others, but to ourselves; that is, to our own principles and opinions."

Here are five easy ways to start changing your perception:

1. Admit to yourself that you're not happy.
You can't change anything if you aren't aware that something needs to be changed. Stop the cycle of wishing things were different and take control of your thoughts and reactions to events and people.

2. Realize optimism is a choice.
You are not born with a positive or negative attitude. It is something you become through your perspective of experiences. Very few situations are completely bad. Always try to come up with three to five positives of any challenging situation and write them down so you can remember them.

3. Use positive words.
Use statements like, "I am hopeful," or, "We will find a resolution," throughout the day. The words you use when you talk have a major impact on your attitude and emotional outlook.

4. Hang out with friends who have a happy vibe.
Try surrounding yourself with friends that exude positive energy. Pay attention to the words they use when they talk to you about their day. You will be amazed how simple it is to ascertain if they are a positive or negative influence.

5. Say a daily affirmation.
Find a quote that is meaningful to you and say it aloud every morning. "Something great is going to happen today," sends your energy in an expectant and positive direction. I know it sounds a bit "Zen" and somewhat mystical, but it is actually a very simple and effective method for retraining your subconscious mind — and advocated by both ancient and scientific research.

So the next time you are faced with a challenging situation, remember these tips for molding your perception — and improving your attitude. You may not be able to change it, but you can certainly choose your mental and physical response to it. As time passes, you will notice a real shift in your attitude, and so will your friends and family!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ticino's swimming pools

The summer is nearly here and I thought I'd share a useful list of open air and covered swimming pools throughout Ticino. Did you know the Lido of Lugano was founded in 1928 or that Bellinzona's outdoor pool was inaugurated 45 years ago. Check them out for yourself.

Switzerland's pools by Canton:
Lugano's Lido:
Bellinzona' Bagno Publico:
Lido di Locarno:
Lido's and public baths around Lugano:

My personal favourite is Lido di Caslano. Make sure you get there early since it is very small but a unique experience.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sicilian Fennel Salad

It has been a very long time since I posted a recipe. Last week I came across an inspiring Sicilian salad. I have never used fennel in my kitchen before but after having tasted this salad, it will become part of our family cook book.

3 blood or navel oranges
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
2 bunches trimmed arugula
2 cored, halved, trimmed medium fennel bulbs
¼ cup oil-cured black olives

1.) Trim off and discard peel and all of the white pith from oranges, then slice crosswise into thin rounds and set aside.
2.) Mix together extra-virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar in a large salad bowl
3.) Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4.) Tear arugula into large pieces and arrange in the salad bowl.
5.) Slice fennel bulbs into long strips.
6.) Toss salad just before serving, adjust seasonings, then arrange orange slices and black olives on top.

Buon appetito!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

For a better healthier you! 5 a Day

We've all heard about the five portions of fruits and vegetables we are suppose to eat per day to stay healthy.

Here's a little help via "5 a Day", a national health promotion campaign aimed at boosting your fruit and vegetable consumption. The objective is better health and well-being for the population of Switzerland. "5 a Day" shows you how to increase your personal consumption of fruit and vegetables – variety with a lot of fun and pleasure.

Eat five portions of vegetables and fruit every day. This depends on how you feel and without having to weigh each portion.  A portion equals about a handful of vegetables or fruit. Here’s how to determine the appropriate portion:  For children, it’s 70 gr of vegetables or 100 gr of fruit.  For adults, it’s 102 gr of vegetables or fruit. How and when the portions are eaten during the day is not as important as the versatility in choice of vegetable and fruit varieties; because in each fruit and vegetable there are a range of substances that are good for our bodies. The more colourful, the better!

Need a little help, just check out their site: 5 a Day.
The site also gives you the info for every vegetable and fruit you can find at the market.
Looking for some kids friendly explanations, click here for the Nutrition Disk or the Food Pyramid.

There's even a logo "5 a Day" that provides helpful guidance when selecting vegetables and fruit enriched products.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Lugano's Scenic trail

Should you be feeling very adventurous and terribly energetic, I have just the solution. Why not try to hike Lugano's scenic trail... or even parts of it!

The stunning, panoramic excursion (run) along ridges in the Lugano area through awe-inspiring landscapes offers unique vistas! The route follows a logical line linking a number of ridges. It starts from Tesserete and goes all the way to Monte Brè, above Lugano.

Long route: 54 km and 3900 height difference
Shorter route: 24 km and 2200 height difference

The official race is held once a year. This year it falls on Saturday, June 13th, 2015. Further information can be found on the site.

Outside race-day, those embarking on this excursion can shorten or interrupt it at several points, see, a smashing site which contains the official network of hiking trails which you can print free of charge.

An excursion which can be spread out over several days, staying overnight along the route at the places listed below, in order of arrival:
Agriturismo Alpe Zalto, 
Agriturismo Alpe Rompiago, 
Capanna Monte Bar, Capanna San Lucio/Rifugio San Lucio, Capanna Pairolo, Alpe Bolla.

The entire route is marked by fixed signage with yellow signs showing the event logo against a greenback background. In any case, for safety's sake we recommend taking the route map with you. Download here:

Start: Tesserete 07:00
Finish: Tesserete
Total altitude gain: 3'900 D+
Distance: 54.2 Km

Time barriers:
Motto della Croce  10:00
San Lucio  13:00
Capanna Pairolo 15:00
Monte Bré  18:00
Alpe Bolla 20:15
Tesserete FINISH 22:15

Start: Tesserete 07:00
Finish: San Lucio
Total altitude gain: 2'200 D+
Distance: 23.8 Km

Time barriers:
Motto della Croce 10:00
San Lucio FINISH 13:00

Friday, June 5, 2015

Sunday School Festival

On Sunday, June 7th the children will celebrate the Sunday School Festival and lead the All-Age Service. We will be saying farewell to St.Edward's Chaplain, Andy, who is retiring after seven years at the Anglican Church of Lugano. His last service will be on June 21st followed by a Bring-and-Share lunch and a chance to say goodbye to Andy and Annie before they return to England.
Please come along and join as this will be Revd. Andy's last All-Age Service in Lugano.

Venue: All-Age Service
Where: St. Edwards Anglicsn Church, Via Clemente Maraini 6, 6900 Lugano
When: Sunday, June 7th, 2015
Time: 10:30

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