Friday, June 23, 2017

Parco San Grato turns 60

Parco San Grato is a great way to escape the city heat. As soon as you enter these one-of-a-kind botanical gardens you’ll feel you're in an enchanted world where colours and scents make for a truly unforgettable experience.

With a surface area of 62,000 m², Parco San Grato boasts the largest collection of azaleas, rhododendrons and conifers, in terms of variety and quantity, in the whole Insubria region.

Located between San Salvatore and Monte Arbòstora, approximately 10 km from Lugano, it extends up to 690 metres above sea level, and offers outstanding views over the nearby area.

While visiting the park you find yourself immersed in an environment with one-of-a-kind natural and decorative characteristics: the large swathes of azaleas and rhododendrons are crisscrossed by five thematic trails: botanical, relaxation, scenic, artistic and fairy-tale, each one of which reveals different aspects of the park which are renewed as the seasons change.

The playground is easily reachable and located in the center of the park, amongst rare, impressive conifers. It offers children and adults the chance to play and have fun.

San Grato Restaurant, with its scenic terrace, is organised so as to meet the needs of everyone, from Sunday day-trippers to refined gourmets. The park also features a chapel dedicated to Saint Grato, the Saint invoked against lightning, storms, pests harming crops and to pray for rain during periods of drought.

Get your kids involved and ready to go. Prepare for a true Ticinese adventure! Click here for a detailed brochure: Parco San Grato.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happy First Day of Summer

Monday, June 19, 2017

When a DJ goes local...

Just to start your week off with a smile...

What might look like a peaceful Swiss mountain scene has taken Switzerland's YouTube by storm.

Have you ever heard DJ Antoine’s club track “Ma Chérie”? Ask your kids to play it and then compare it to the Swiss version. The yodeling interpretation of the well-known smash hit was recorded to promote the upcoming Federal Yodeling Festival, which will take place in Brig, canton Valais from June 22nd.

Friday, June 16, 2017

7 questions before you move

End of spring is Expat high season where the farewells, the tears and the emotions preceed the move onto a next destination. Here are seven questions to work through over dinner with your children about the "upcoming move".

Start conversations that will help you all understand where the rest of the family is at. Make sure each family member gets equal chance to answer. Parents and children alike, but try and get the children to start as younger children are more likely to reflect the parents point of view as they think there is only one 'correct' answer.

1. What have been the best things that have happened here?
- Do you think we can do these things in our new location?
- What activities do you want to continue doing?
- Are there new things you would like to try at the new location?

2. Moving means lots of changes. Sometimes we worry about things that will be new or different. Do you have some worries?
- How do you think we can help each other lessen our worries?

3. Are you excited about moving?
- What excites you about this place?

4. What do you think you will like about this place?
- This culture?
- This country?

5. What do you think will be different?

6. What do you need to find out about the new location?

7. Do you need help to work out the best way to say farewell to friends?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

20 lists everyone should make

Those who know me will tell you that I am a BIG fan of lists, so when I came across this list of lists I could not resist to share...

Here goes:

1. Recipes you want to try: Pull this out the next time you're stuck on what to make for dinner for instant inspiration.

2. Movies you want to see: You'll never have to sit through the "I don't care, what to do you want to watch?" scenario again.

3. Books you want to read: Next time you're reaching for another predictable beach read, look up that acclaimed novel-of-the-year, Oprah-recommended one instead.

4. TV shows you want to watch: You'll be prepared for when you binge-watch your way through "Stranger Things" and need a new addiction now.

5. Restaurants you want to try: Keep a running list of all the places you want to try and you'll never be left without a suggestion when deciding where to eat tonight. Bonus points if you organize it by type of cuisine.

6. Places to see: Maybe you've always wanted to visit the Great Wall of China, or even just the Statue of Liberty. Once you have a list, you'll be motivated to plan a trip.

7. Cities and countries you want to visit: Perhaps there's not a specific landmark you're dying to see, but you've always wanted to eat pasta in Italy or drink wine in France. Your list will remind of which trips you really need to take.

8. Places to visit in your hometown: It's not as exciting as jet-setting across the globe, but you'll have plenty of things to do instead of vegging out on your couch next Saturday.

9. Daily to-do list: Keep track of everything that's on your plate for the day. Plus, nothing feels better than crossing something off.

10. Bucket list: Everything you want to do before you die, from big things such as getting married or climbing Mt. Everest, down to small things such as baking the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

11. Short-term goals: What do you want to accomplish this month?

12. Long-term goals: What do you hope to accomplish in the next five to 10 years?

13. Professional accomplishments: Keep a list of all of those projects executed and compliments given. Aside from making you feel good when you're having an off-day, this list will be invaluable when it comes time to update your resume.

14. Criteria for your next job: The more hours, days, and years you spend at work, the more you know what you do and don't need to be your most effective, most productive self in both this position and the next.

15. DIY projects: Pinterest might be a great aspirational site, but this will help you keep track of the projects you actually want to complete, like organizing your old photos or painting the furniture in the guest room.

16. Home improvement projects: Writing down everything that needs to be done will allow you to prioritize what you should tackle first.

17. Grocery list: Knowing exactly what you need to buy — and sticking to it — will not only save you money, it will help you resist that box of cookies you know you don't need.

18. Important dates: Everyone loves when you remember their birthday or anniversary, so keep a list of your loved ones' significant dates and you'll never miss a chance to make their day.

19. Things you're thankful for: Revisit this on your toughest days to remind yourself how great your life is.

20. Things that make you happy: Whenever you're sad, you'll automatically give yourself several reasons to smile.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Melon Courgette salad recipe

It’s melon season. This freshness is going to be the delight of your summer lunches! Healthy, tasty and refreshing.

Ingredients: (for 4 persons)
1 melon (large size)
500 gr of cold cooked quinoa
8 cherry tomatoes
1 courgette
8 leaves of fresh mint

- Cut the melon in two and remove the seeds with a spoon. Make melon marbles with a round spoon. Set aside in a fresh place.
- Rinse and dry the cherry tomatoes while removing the stem. Cut in half.
- Wash the courgette and cut into cubes.
- Rinse the mint leaves and chisel finely.
- In a large salad bowl, place the quinoa. Add the tomatoes, the cubes of courgette and the melon balls. Sprinkle with chiseled mint. Mix all the ingredients.
- Season the salad with half a lemon juice and a dash of du olive oil. Salt and pepper according to taste.

Another option: add a few cubes of féta for a creamy touch.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Ticino's World Heritage Days 2017

From June 9th till 11th 2017, Switzerland will organise its second edition of the World Heritage Days. The World Heritage properties will open their doors to the public and offer tailor-made programs for this occasion. It is a perfect opportunity to discover them!

Did you know that there are two UNESCO sites in Ticino? Bellinzona & Monte San Giorgio. Both of them stand for authenticity, quality and diversity for many generations to come. These values are part of the identity and mentality of the Swiss population.

Castles of Bellinzona, cultural heritage since 2000
Special activities @ Castles of Bellinzona:

Monte San Giorgio, natural heritage since 2003/2010
Special activities @ Fossils Museum in Meride:

Click here for the programme:

You can even join the fun by posting your photos on Instagram

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Laghetto di Astano is my secret tip

Ever heard of Astano? Yes, that would be in the Canton Ticino.

Totally immersed in the green, this enchanted little place is a popular local summer hangout of the Malcantone. The Astano lake is ideal for all ages. In fact, the small bathing facility (for the modest fee of CHF 3.-) offers numerous activities which can satisfy both families who want to relax and the young who want to enjoy themselves and listen to music, with numerous concerts organised during the summer.

Thanks to the perfect location and the great care always shown by the Askari family, it’s possible to organise birthday parties, aperitifs, barbecues, even Persian cuisine evenings.

You can also go fishing every day at the Astano Lake. Why not rent a fishing rod for 10 CHF + a deposit of 35 CHF, worms provided! Should you be as lucky to catch a trout its price would be 18.- CHF/Kg.

Step back in time and enjoy a truly unique nature adventure. Make sure you keep it a secret!

Address: Laghetto di Astano, Strada Laghetto, 6999 Astano
Contact: Tel +41 76 275 82 67 or

Opening season
01.03 - 31.10.2017

Open all days
Mon - Sun from 10:00 to 18:00.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Ticino's best 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.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Ticino beaches praised in European report

More than 100 Swiss beaches have been rated excellent in a European-wide report on water quality.
In total, the European Environment Agency (EEA)'s bathing water quality report 2016 found 145 Swiss beaches to have ‘excellent' water quality.

Beaches rated ‘excellent' were clustered around the lakes of Lugano and Locarno in Ticino, as well as the lakes of Zurich, Hallwil, Zug and the eastern end of Lake Geneva.

All the more reason to head for Lugano's Lido to check out the wonderful fine sandy beach on the shores of Lake Ceresio, the heated Olympic swimming pool, the medium size swimming pool, the diving pool with trampolines up to 10 m high, the kiddies' pool with water games, the beach volley court and the five-a-side football pitch.

The weather conditions are perfect. Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts! And when the sun starts setting you can carry on relaxing at the Chiringuito Beach Bar open every day in good weather from 9:00am to 9.30pm.

Why not have a drink after work at the Al Lido Bar? Loosen your collar, slip off your high heels, feel the sand under your feet and pretend you're on holiday.

Lido di Lugano, Vle. Castagnola 4/6, 6900 Lugano

Opening hours:
May: Mo-Su 09:00-19:00
June, July and August: Mo-Su 09:00-19:30
September: Mo-Su 09:00-19:00

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Leave your mark at the Grand Tour through Switzerland

Breathtaking 4000-metre peaks, beautiful rolling hills, medieval towns, the roaring Rhine Fall: on the Grand Tour, the places of interest line up like pearls on a string. There is plenty to discover during the Grand Tour of Switzerland. Sometimes it is new, surprising or exciting, but whatever it is, it is always typical of this particular location.

Come and visit the many interesting attractions of the tour and let others know that you were there. There are different interactive stations where you can get active and leave “your footprints”. The Swiss tourist office has signposted and outlined the most scenic viewing points along the route. This overview makes it easy for you to find all the Grand Tour photo spots.

You can be part of the fun, just share your photos from the Grand Tour photo spots with the hashtags #SwissGrandTour and #INLOVEWITHSWITZERLAND.

For more detailed info click here: Grand Tour Switzerland

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

10 facts about Switzerland you should know

Following are 10 statistics you should know about Switzerland. 

Did you know the average Swiss travel 2'258 km by train each year? Mindblowing, considering the greatest length from east to west in this country is 350 kilometres!

Friday, May 19, 2017

StraLugano 2017

Don't miss the event that is synonymous to enthusiasm, solidarity, health, friendship and well-being. The StraLugano is a great week-end entertainment for families and sports fans. This year there is even a KidsRace over 700m, 1400m and 2100m for the little ones on Saturday.

Why not try the Charity Run? This 5km race is for mums and dads, grandparents, families and teenagers all in the name of a good cause. Everybody can manage 5km with little help from their loved ones!

For the more serious runners there is the 10k City run, the Relay Run and the half marathon all happening on Sunday.

Take a peek at the programme:

Saturday, May 20th, 2017
14:00               Piazza Manzoni - Opening Village Stralugano
14:00 - 20:00   Lugano Exhibition Center: Start number collection and late registrations
14:00 - 18:00   Piazza Manzoni - Dining & animation of the village
                         Registration and collect race KidsRun
14:00 - 20:00   Piazza Manzoni - Registrations Run4Charity 5km KidsRun
19:00                KidsRun: The race for children
21:00                Piazza Riforma - Lakeside - Check Run4Charity 5km

Sunday, May 21st, 2017
7:00 - 11:00    Lugano Exhibition Center: Start number collection
9:15                Piazza Manzoni - Warm Up SUVA for Halfmarathon
9:45                Piazza Manzoni - Lakeside - Starting ceremony with Swiss anthem
10:00              Start 2a Stralugano Half Marathon 21.0975 km and RelayRun
11:00              Piazza Manzoni - Lakeside - Early arrivals race Half Martahon
11:30              Podium and prizes of the 2nd Stralugano HM
12:00              Tent in Parco Ciani - Migros Pasta Party
12:15              Piazza Manzoni - Warm Up for SUVA City Run 10 km
13:00              Start CityRun 10 Km
14:00              Podium and prize giving 10 Km CityRun
16:00              Closing of the 12th edition of Stralugano

This event started out in 2006 with a little over 800 participants. I wonder how many will be taking part this year?

For more info click here: StraLugano 2017

I'll add this video of last year's StraLugano 
for all the people feeling homesick for Lugano like myself!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

10 family dinner question about moving

Late spring is the most delicate season for expats. It is the period when you are in limbo between knowing you will need to leave your current home at the end of the school year but having to sit out the time until you actually move to the new destination.

Here are ten family dinner questions in the weeks before you move to help open up the worries, concerns and excitement that the whole family is feeling for the upcoming move. Make sure each family member gets equal chance to answer. Parents and children alike, but try and get the children to start with their answers. This is a great way to animate lively and insightful conversations that will help you all understand where the rest of the family is at. Research the questions together that you can't answer and start solidifying your team spirit as a family. You'll need it once you get to the other end.

1.) What have been the best things that have happened here?
2.) Do you think we can do these things in our new location?
3.) What activities do you want to continue doing?
4.) Are there new things you would like to try at the new location?
5.) Moving means lots of changes. Sometimes we worry about things that will be new or different. Do you have some worries?
6.) How do you think we can help each other lessen our worries?
7.) Are you excited about moving?
8.)  What do you think will be different?
9.) What do you think you will like about the new location and its culture?
10.) Do you need help to work out the best way to say farewell to friends?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

10 tips to help your kids say goodbye

Moving abroad is tough at the best of times, as adults moving alone it is a great adventure to be embarked upon. But when you have children there are so many extra concerns to take into account. The adventure is no longer about you as part of a couple but how you will be as a family.

Helping your child relocate well is one more demand on you as a parent when you are already stressed, but it is essential to the family unit, in fact I think you will find going through these strategies will ease your stress, not add to it.

Following are Jump Overseas Top 10 tips to help children say goodbye to one location and hello to the next.

In the last month before a move, help your children by making sure you hit their top things to do locally before you go and also line up fun things to look forward to on arrival in new place.

Use your dinner time to talk through thoughts and worries in your heads about the move, and how to say good-bye. Here are 7 great Family Dinner Questions to get you started. Encourage your children to open up to their friends as well, as their friends will be having similar concerns, but without the parental support as their parents may not be aware of the upcoming move. It is consuming all your thoughts, but make sure you let others know too.

Ask your children who they want to spend extra time with in these last few weeks. Arrange a sleepover with their best friend(s).

Ask friends to write a postcard of a favourite memory they have shared together that can be taken with them to read after they have left. Or provide them with a stamp-addressed postcard to fill in and send in a few months to say hello.

Make a collage of the area, friends, activities, school and get all their friends sign it. Create memory books by looking through your photos and pick the important ones. Arrange them in a scrap book with titles for each picture. This is a great way with smaller children especially to take memories with you and being able to engage with them on an ongoing basis after you leave.

Create or buy gifts they can give to their friends, so they know they will not be forgotten. Or ask your children to choose something of theirs to give to their friends. And if you know their friends mum's well enough, ask if they would encourage their child to give something of theirs to my child. Picking one personal toy that they own and exchanging with a friend will help the feelings of keeping each other close. This is especially good with smaller children. Making friendship bracelets together. I wore mine for at least a year after repatriating as a 8 year old.

Purchase numerous school merchandise items and mementos of the region to take with you. This is the time to indulge them and be a tourist again! Enjoy the area, eat at your favourite restaurants, visit your favourite places and on leaving each say a quiet good-bye in your head and take a minute to stop and take in all the sights and sounds of the location. Take lots and lots of photos at these places. Fun places, regular activities, friends, schools, teachers, the route to school even…

Post a big poster sized paper sign on the fridge door. Divide this into two vertical columns. Title the left side with "What I'll miss about HERE*" The other side says "What I'm looking forward to THERE*". The comments are then added by all the family as they think of them, you are likely to find them funny, insightful, and surprising. This can bring out different worries than mentioned out loud at the dinner table, yet keeps the channels open. (*replace Here and There with the actual town names relevant to you.)

Write or record a “day in the life” journal entry with them as to what they do on a normal school week. What the routine is. As all too soon the new location will take over and they will forget what the previous life was like. Then get frustrated at not remembering, so record it now. Find the time. Yes I know there are a million other things to think about but this is HUGE in their lives and it must be noted.

Make sure they have Skype details swapped and test it between your houses there before you go. Then fix a date and time to Skype after you have left. It will help her leave and settle knowing she can keep contact with her friends.
If they are older still, setting up E-mail, Instagram and facebook accounts. Just make sure you are part of their circle.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

How to help your children settle abroad

Following is a lovely video about how to move abroad with a family. No client of HSBC, I must admit they have done an incredible amount of research on Expats across the globe.

In this video the talented, empathetic psychologist Kate Berger of The Expat Kids Club shares useful, effective insights for children living across cultures, to help them overcome the challenges and make the most of the benefits of moving abroad.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

20 Questions Every Woman Should Ask Herself

Nuturedmama is a life-examiner. She's been working with coaches and therapists for many years. She writes about her life because it helps her to understand it. It has also helped her to build a lot of self-awareness and understand how she functions in the world.

As a result, when something feels wrong or frustrating or difficult, Nuturedmama starts to question in order to identify what needs to change.

Have you ever taken the time to do that? I haven't... really.

Following are 20 questions to get to know yourself better. Don’t like the answers? Don’t have answers to some of them? Then that is where your work lies.

What do I really want in this moment?
How do I want to be loved?
Who do I need to forgive?
What is my superpower?
Am I in my body?
What did I love to do when I was a child?
Do I love myself exactly as I am right now?
What can I let go of?
What would I love to learn?
When was the last time I felt truly joyful?
Who is my community?
What is beautiful to me and do I have some of that in my life right now?
Do I know the sound of my own true voice?
What practice consistently brings me home to myself?
What do I want my legacy to be?
Have I planned for my own death, and my survivors?
What have I done for myself today?
What is my story?
How can I speak with more love today?
Can I ask a better question?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Six steps to a successful trailblazing expat spouse

All you Expat mums: ever wondered how to cope when the going gets tough? Mary Todd, a management consultant and expat wife herself, has identified six steps to transition through the expat cycle and thrive in an expat assignment.

To successfully apply the following steps requires an open mind and positive attitude, a desire to examine what makes you tick, a healthy dose of determination, a willingness to communicate openly with your spouse, a commitment to make the most of the situation and a group of family and friends to encourage and empathise.

Step 1: Build awareness
The first step is to understand how moving to a foreign country has affected you by considering all dimensions of your situation as dispassionately as possible. Use this example to prompt your own thinking.

Step 2: Accept need to change
Because so much has changed, an expat spouse needs to face the reality of reinventing herself. She does this by acknowledging that she is the one who has to adapt. Spend time looking through your personalised version of the example in Step 1 as you consider where and how you will change.

Step 3: Discover possibilities
With awareness and acceptance it is now time to take charge of your life again. Each individual has a blend of roles that forms part of her identity (e.g. mother, professional, mentor, wife, friend, care giver and so on), a personal set of interests, strengths, and skills and a range of motivating activities.

During Step 3, an expat spouse brainstorms possibilities for using or exploring her interests, strengths and skills in light of each role, in light of changed circumstances and personal motivators. Listing possibilities opens the way to new beginnings.

Step 4: Establish your focus
After working through Step 3, the challenge is not whether there are possibilities, the challenge is where to focus. During Step 4 an expat spouse sets priorities and makes choices based on her personal goals, motivators and constraints.

Step 5: Plan your steps
Dreams are seldom fulfilled without a plan. In Step 5 an expat spouse creates a structured, realistic plan to move ahead. Such a plan enables real change and a feeling of accomplishment.

Step 6: Work your plan
The final step is to work the plan. It is exhilarating and energising to have a realistic plan and to commit to action, one step at a time, against the plan. With imagination, commitment and a sound plan almost anything is possible.

With an open mind and deliberate effort, opportunities abound for an expat spouse: to develop latent talents, to do something you have never had time for, to take a different career direction, to build new skills, to return to school, to travel, to learn a new language or refresh one that is rusty, to get involved in community work, to learn about a new culture and traditions.

You will learn that by developing a personal plan with a long term perspective, you just might open yourself to a whole new approach to life.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Zürich is my home town

Feeling at home as soon as I step onto the plane in Charles de Gaulle airport

Thank YOU for letting me take three!!!

Looking down the river Limmat

Walking through the old town

View from the Lindenplatz

Hurray, the National circus Knie is in town

Memories of my childhood 

Old-fashioned window bars 

Zurich's symbol: the Grossmünster Church

St. Peter's Church with one of Europe's biggest clocks

Fraumünster Church famous for its Chagall windows...

... but there is much ...

... much more to be discovered!

Birchermüesli for breakfast...

... Chocolate for lunch...

... and Luxemburgerli for dinner! 

One of the many public lidos where I spent so many hours of my youth swimming in the lake.

Loving the Swiss vibes from a very familiar place.

Time to fly back to Paris.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Benefits of learning a language

Learning to speak a second language can be challenging, for sure, but that’s because you’re training your brain to do something much more complex than memorising new words and their proper pronunciations. You’re expanding your thought capability, in more ways than one.

Now, here comes the interesting bit... your brain actually gets bigger. Why?

A 2014 study titled "Age of language learning shapes brain structure" found the cortical thickness which is generally associated with higher intelligence of the bilingual brain is only altered when language learning happens later in life, after developing proficiency in their first language. The later a second language is acquired, the greater the effect on brain structure increase, the study found.

Given I learnt my last language at age 30, I might need to consider taking up a new language... as they say: It's never too late to learn!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Bilingual Language Development Myths

Unfortunately, many erroneous beliefs still persist with regard to language acquisition in bilingual children. Sometimes parents are discouraged from raising a child with more than one language. They're told it can lead to confusion and speech delays, or that they've missed the window of opportunity.

The following infographic was created to help dispel these myths and to encourage practices that promote multilingualism.

Learning a language doesn't have to be a chore. But introducing a second language to your children does require some kind of structure and, most important, consistency, whether it's through day-to-day conversation or formal instruction. The idea is to expose them to language learning in meaningful and interesting ways that are connected to real life.

Here are the most common myths – and the real story behind raising a child to be bilingual.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

An enchanting treat in Ticino

The sun’s shining, there’s a sound of splashing water, and it smells of popcorn...

For many years, nothing unusual there for the residents of Vergeletto. Maize arrived in the Onsernone valley and thus Vergeletto in the early 19th century. Rye had been the order of the day until then.

One day, Nunzia, the local miller began roasting the nutritious yellow kernels in a pan over the fire, until one third exploded. These popcorns were then put together with the rest of the kernels and milled which led to the “good flour”, the farina bóna. But when Nunzia died in 1957, she took the secret of farina bóna with her to the grave – and the mill wheel stood idle for almost 60 years.

These days it’s a local school teacher, Ilario Garbani, who works Nunzia’s old mill. Working with his pupils, he studied the history of the product and discovered more about the tradition. He started making the tasty maize flour some three years ago, the only person in Switzerland to do so. Memories of farina bóna were revived as a result of a series of initiatives and the restoration of the old mill in Loco in 1991.

Every Tuesday Ilario takes visitors through the little village and explains the history of the farina. He begins the tour in what he calls his “laboratorio”, where roasting machines are fired up every now and then when Ilario is called upon to make his fine flour for retailers around Switzerland. He then brings his roasted kernels to the restored mill....

...and that's when it starts smelling of popcorn amongst the stone houses of Vergeletto!

Find out more here:

Sunday, April 23, 2017

World Book Day or Dia de la Rosa

International Day of the Book is a yearly event on April 23rd, organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to promote reading, publishing and copyright.

The connection between 23 April and books was first made in 1923 by booksellers in Catalonia, Spain. The original idea was of the Valencian writer Vicente Clavel Andrés as a way to honour the author Miguel de Cervantes, who died on this date.

In 1995 UNESCO decided that the World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on 23 April, as the date is also the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.

Unesco's vision is that World Book and Copyright Day is an opportunity to highlight the power of books to promote our vision of knowledge societies that are inclusive, pluralistic, equitable, open and participatory for all citizens.

In Catalonia, St. George's Day has been "The Day of the Rose" since 1436, and involves the exchange of gifts between loved ones and respected people—it is analogous to Valentine's Day. Although World Book Day has been celebrated since 1995 internationally, books were exchanged on "The Day of the Rose" in Catalonia since 1929, in memory of Cervantes.

So, whom would you present with a rose or a book today? Which book would you choose?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Consider launching your startup in Ticino?

Ever thought of opening up a business in Ticino? Wondering where to start?

The Lugano Chapter of Swiss Finance + Technology Association is happy to invite you to a meeting about start-up businesses that will be held at the Tecnopolo Manno where they will be guests of Fondazione Agire.

The Association is an independent membership-based organisation which is leading in the development of financial technology (FinTech) innovation ecosystem in Switzerland.

During this meeting Fondazione Agire represented by Mr. Barberis will show you the possibilities for renting spaces at affordable prices and all the other services offered for the startups. KPMG and Atty. Lars Schlichting will explain the advantages of establishing a company in Ticino.

This is the perfect opportunity to get started. One step at a time...

Venue: Tecnopolo Manno
Where: Via Cantonale 18, 6928 Manno
Date: Monday, April 24th, 2017
Time: 14:00
Register here:

Friday, April 21, 2017

Alpine Airbnb in Switzerland

Switzerland's Tourism Office has launched a platform for renting Alpine huts in Switzerland – a kind of Swiss Alpine hut Airbnb. has more than 250 offers in all categories, from very simple accommodation to a very high standard. This new platform is part of a wider summer campaign, launched on Thursday, to attract tourists into the Swiss countryside, under the slogan “Nature wants you back”.

Tourists can also go onto the new platform My Swiss Experience to make their own Gruyère or go fishing on Lake Constance in the early morning or can use the Wildlife Watching platform to find help in observing the Alpine ibex, marmot and bearded vulture, to name but a few.

So you might have to be Swiss to understand the humour in this video but Switzerland's nature needs no explanation. It is truly sensational!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Happy Easter

Friday, April 14, 2017

Swiss Easter Chocolate

The iconic Lindt Gold Bunny dressed in gold, with a ribbon and golden bell that rings!
For generations, the Lindt Gold Bunny has been just as much a part of an Easter nest as Easter eggs. What makes it so popular is that it is as simple as it is good.

Läderach's Easter egg selection. 
Läderach has stood for top-quality, hand-made Swiss chocolate specialities since 1962.

Oh look, it's a pink Easter bunny!
The perfect chocolate for my Easter Nest.

Chocolate heaven in my local supermarket

Easter version of a Swiss Carac. 
Mystery surrounds the origin of carac! We only know that it was already available in the early twentieth century. Why does it have this name? Might it be a phonetic link to carafe, which defines a type of cocoa of high quality as the one produced in the vicinity of Caracas, as noted in The Universal Dictionary of Practical Cooking by Joseph Favre (1894), Swiss cuisine theorist and cook.

What better way to start your day?
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