Sunday, May 19, 2019

I'll be back soon

Time has come to say "Arrivederci" once again. Expat daughter and I have indulged in Swiss food and enjoyed the exceptional companionship of our local friends for the past ten days. We might not live in Lugano any longer but it still feels very much like home... even after eight years that we have been living in Paris.

Our adventure in Lugano was a life changer for each family member. Every one of us has a special link to this city and the time we called it home. I had come back to my home country. Expat hubby fulfilled his dream destination. Expat boy received a good dose of Swiss discipline thanks to the local school system and Expat Girl never really let go of her first memories of home.

“The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back.”

A touch of modern art à la Luganese

A touch of Swiss tradition: pedalos

Lugano's meeting point: Manor department store

As Swiss as it gets: a lake lunch cruise

A welcoming spot for food

Delicatessen Ticino style

Just can't get enough...

Romantic teatime invitation

Happy Hour with a view

A morning jog to keep fit

Smile... you're in Lugano!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

International Museum Day

Today is International Museum Day and did you know that Switzerland has over 1,100 museums?

This year's Museum Day will be celebrated in Switzerland on Sunday May 19th. It focuses on the new roles of museums as active actors in their communities with “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The future of tradition”.

While preserving their primary missions - collecting, conservation, communication, research, exhibition - museums have transformed their practices to remain closer to the communities they serve.

Today they look for innovative ways to tackle contemporary social issues and conflict. By acting locally, museums can also advocate and mitigate global problems, striving to meet the challenges of today's society proactively.

Like the "Alimentarium" located in Vevey which is the first museum in the world devoted exclusively to nutrition... and you cannot miss the gigantic silver fork that sticks out of the water in front of the museum. Alert to all chocohlics: it will be is hosting various gourmet activities focusing on chocolate tonight.

Click here to find Ticino's 16 participating museums:

Friday, May 17, 2019

Switzerland at the Eurovision finals

Call me old-fashioned but I do watch the Eurovision Finals ... some years. This time Switzerland has made it into the Finals with a song called "She got me" by Luca Hänni. Yes, he actually has a Swiss name! He is cute and he can sing. Luca was born in Bern and apparently taught himself to play guitar and the piano.

Most know that the Eurovision is an annual International song competition held primarily among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union... but did you know that the first contest, in which Switzerland competed with six other nations, was held in the town of Lugano on May 24th, 1956?

The Eurovision Grand Final takes place on Saturday, 18 May 2019 at 21:00 and I guess I'll be watching this year!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Swiss hiking routes

Did you know that walking along all of Switzerland’s hiking trails would be the equivalent of going one-and-a-half times around the world?

Ascend a peak, hike through alpine meadows, explore a forest? You decide! Thanks to over 65'000km of waymarked trails, virtually every corner of Switzerland is waiting to be discovered. The paths are well marked and as varied as the scenery. For comparison: the whole of Switzerland has “only” 71'400km of roads and 5'100km of railway tracks.

The Swiss population spends 162 million hours on hiking trails each year, while 59% of all overight visitors in summer go hiking at least once during their stay.

Did you know that there are three types of hiking trail?
- 63% of them are yellow-signposted hiking trails
- 36% are yellow-signposted mountain hiking trails with white-red-white waymarks
- just under 1% are blue-signposted Alpine hiking trails

So where to start? SwitzerlandMobility’s obstacle-free hiking trail network is unparalleled in the world and presents a fabulous selection of local, regional and nation hiking routes - all way marked!

Click here for the Swiss Mobility link:

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

When chocolate has your name on it!

If I had to choose one aliment to survive on it would defiantly be chocolate. Preferably Swiss chocolate! Ok, Lady Godiva assorted chocolates are high on my favourite list as well!

However, there is no place like home when it comes to chocolate. No need to step into one of those fancy chocolatiers to feel pampered, the local supermarket (i.e. Coop or Migros) will have me drooling and raving over their counters.

Many modern historians estimate that chocolate has been around for about 2000 years. For most of that time, chocolate was a beverage.

Etymologists trace the origin of the word "chocolate" to the Aztec word "xocoatl" which referred to a bitter drink brewed from cacao beans. The Latin name for the cacao tree "Theobroma cacao" means "food of the gods". Now I will not argue with that!

Sweetened chocolate didn't appear until Europeans discovered the Americas. Chocolate didn't suit the foreigners' taste buds, but once it was mixed with honey or cane sugar, it quickly became popular. By the 17th century, chocolate was a fashionable drink throughout Europe.

Back to my point... according to science I could survive about a year by eating just chocolate!

Loving Toblerone's latest special edition

When it's wrapped in pink who can resist?

Just your regular milk chocolate

The tourist selection

How many of those can I fit into my suitcase?

Kid's favourite... häsch Dini Ovi hüt schoo kaa?

Ragusa is a well kept Swiss secret

New discovery at Manor supermarket!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

An afternoon at the LAC

How can I resist an invitation to lunch by my girlfriends followed by a guided tour through the local art museum? It just goes to show, Paris might have the most impressive amount of exhibitions but there are little jewels offering a rich cultural programme in every city no matter what size.

After a delicious homemade pesto accompanied by a glass of prosecco we set off to Lugano's LAC cultural center. Inaugurated in September 2015 LAC (Lugano Arte e Cultura) is devoted to visual arts, to music and the performing arts.

The Gottfried Keller Foundation is one of the important collections of Swiss art. The foundation was established in 1890 by Lydia Welti-Escher and was later entrusted to the Confederation for the purpose of procuring important works of visual art for Switzerland.

The LAC exhibition focused primarily on nineteenth- and twentieth-century paintings, with significant incursions into the previous centuries, documenting the production of some of Switzerland's greatest artists such as Hodler, Segantini and Giacometti.

Situated in a breathtaking position overlooking the lake, LAC expresses its mission as a comprehensive cultural venue open to residents and visitors alike, providing a showcase for artists and serving as a place where the public can enjoy and learn about the arts.

The view from inside the LAC looking onto Monte Bré

Die Teufelsbrücke, a classic by Caspar Wolf

Death by Giovanni Segantini

The Chosen One by Ferdinand Hodler

La Luronne by Francois Barraud

Portrait of daughter Hedwig by Max Buri

My favourite: a detail from Equestrian fantasy with pink lady by Alice Bailly

The spectacular view from the LAC

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Opening of Lido di Lugano

On May 1st the Lido of Lugano holds its traditional opening to kick off the summer season. At 11am, in the presence of the city authorities, the City of Lugano offered the usual "aperitivo" to all visitors. Bathing was allowed both in the pools and in the lake for those who dare faced the 11ºC. The good news is that the entrance today is free AND the sun is out! What a treat!

Monday, April 29, 2019

IWCL Spring Fair

It's that time of year again... the IWCL (International Women's Club Lugano) Spring Fair is happening next week. Don't miss this Expat gathering and support local businesses.
Entrance is free and guests are welcome, no need to register. Check out the flyer below for more info.

Venue: IWCL Spring Fair
Where: Hotel Pestalozzi, Piazza Indipendenza 9, 6901 Lugano
Date: Tuesday, May 7th, 2019
Time: 10:00 to 12:00

Sunday, April 28, 2019

A Sunday morning jog

The idea of hiking through the Ticinese mountains appeals to me greatly - especially during springtime - the only hitch is that you need to start early. So, if you like to sleep in during the holidays and enjoy a proper breakfast on your terrasse, you might be a bit late to start your day of discovery.

A late morning jog is the answer. Today my path crossed a few of the 1800 participants of the Nordic Walking event in Lugano. The volunteer guides encouraged me along the way wondering why I was heading in a different direction. A smile and a wave... it's good to be back!

View from Breganzona

Pinocchio's house

Chiesa dei Santi Quirico e Giulitta

Another breathtaking view

Tempted to stop and rest

Looking up...

... looking down

A well deserved plate of "spaghetti alle vongole"

Friday, April 26, 2019

Helvetia's Dream

Filmmaker Alessandro Della Bella from Arosa has created “Helvetia’s Dream” an absolutely gorgeous film that captures the stunning sights of his beloved mountainous country from high above.

"Helvetia by Night" is a time-lapse project about Switzerland by night. Short videos of long nights present you the stunning beauty of the Swiss Alps and show you the magic of a spectacular nighttime sky. Imagine watching a slide-show at fast speed or looking at a flip book. It is photography turning into a movie. Everything in the videos is real and happening out there while most of us are sleeping.

‘Helvetia’s Dream’ takes you on a nighttime journey to some of the most beautiful spots in the Swiss Alps – from Arosa to Zermatt, including the world famous mountains Matterhorn and Eiger.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter from Ibiza

Friday, April 19, 2019

Pasqua in città 2019

Join the festive atmosphere of Easter in the City and explore the numerous intriguing and entertaining activities for everyone.

Every year Easter draws a myriad of vacationers and travelers to Lugano. In order to add some zest to the picturesque city center, the City of Lugano and the Tourist Office of Lugano have organized an event called “Pasqua in Città” (Easter in the City), which will take place from Friday through Monday.

"Easter in the City" will transform the city center into a cheerful stage with the main squares and the civic park ready to welcome a fun programme of events. For four days between 11:00 and 18:00 you'll have the opportunity to taste and purchase local products at the numerous stalls in Piazza Manzoni, Piazza della Riforma, via Nassa and Piazza Dante.

Click here for programme in English: Pasqua in città Lugano 2019

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Keeping Swiss time

The famous SBB station clock, with its second hand in the form of a stylised red signalling disc, the approximately 1.5 second delayed jump to the minute, the tapered black blunt-ended hour and minute hands, the black lines indicating the hours and minutes in the Bauhaus style and the white clock face, is inseparably linked to SBB. No Swiss station could ever be envisioned without it.

The clock can be found more than 3’000 times across the country. Back in the 1940s when the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) was looking for a way to take advantage of their name for punctuality and incorporate this theme into their national image, they asked Hans Hilfiker, an SBB employee, engineer and prolific inventor, to come up with a highly visible clock that would not only form the basis of their later corporate identity, but it would help to guarantee on time departures as well.

Hilfiker, an exponent of products that were both functional and well designed, created the Railways’ masterpiece in 1944. The design, with its clear and easily read face, mimics the smooth running of the trains and incorporates clever features that demonstrate punctuality in a highly visible fashion.

Click here for a nifty Swiss Railway Clock iPhone App by Thomas Feger.
For some entertainment play a fun game with the SBB station clock:

Thursday, April 11, 2019

StreetFood Village Caslano 2019

Last year over 5,000 people took part in the Streetfood Village held in Caslano. Over 30'000 visitors enjoyed dishes and artisan products of all types and origins cooked by restaurateurs based in Ticino.

Next Saturday 45 restaurateurs and producers based in Ticino will gather in Caslano again to offer you their delicious gastronomic specialties. The Streetfood Village will be a welcoming culinary square where the public will be able to relax while going on a culinary journey discovering Ticinese specialities as well as world foods!

Venue: Caslano Street Food Village
Where: Piazza Lago, 6987 Calsano
Date: Saturday, April 13th, 2019 (in case of rain postponed to May 4th)
Time: 11.00 to 22.00
For more info:

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Why should you give to Giving Day?

Franklin University Switzerland (FUS) is Lugano's International hub. It is a school where nationalities and cultural perspectives meet and create unique experiences. It is a learning method that incorporates travel and interdisciplinary study into the core of the curriculum.

Feeling strongly about education (public and private) I thought it would be worth sharing FUS case for support today. #OneDayOnePurpose

Giving Day is a 24-hour fundraising event held on April 10 for all members of the Franklin University Switzerland community. Students, faculty, staff, parents, friends and alumni are invited to join the largest day of giving because we are FRANKLIN! The goal is to raise critical funding and engage the community to advance the mission of Franklin University Switzerland.

Private contributions make a difference by helping provide the support FUS needs to maintain an international reputation of excellence.

And remember, a gift does not always need to be monetary it may also be your time, your engagement or simply sharing the information... just like I chose to do.

One Day. One Purpose link:
More info on FUS:

Monday, April 8, 2019

Swiss food against homesickness

The desire for food from home can go deeper than just craving certain tastes. Food is an important piece how we define culture, and therefore a piece of how we see ourselves as people. There is a profound link between food and identity.

When you're at home in your own culture, that culture may not feel like an incredibly important piece of your identity, because it's shared with everyone around you. Away from home, however, the things that still make you unique, like nationality or religion, can take on an importance in your self-definition that they never had before.

As culture takes a greater role in how you see yourself, the foods and food rituals that define it come along for the ride. You may cling to food as an anchor for who you are and where you’re from.

So, when I feel homesick, I seek comfort through familiar foods that recall happy memories from childhood. That’s why they’re called "comfort foods" – they’re quite literally associated in our brain with happy and comforting emotions...

One last tip, before your kids go off to college, teach them how to cook their favorite homemade dish. They'll be cooking more often than they think!

Sunntigs-Zopf mit Honig

Potato soup with Garlic bread

Nothing beats a true Swiss salad with homemade bread

Moité-moité cheese fondue... as Swiss as it gets!

Silserli mit Nüsslisalat


Carac filled with chocolate

Fasnachtschüechli or Chiacchiere di Carnevale 

Heissi Schoggi

"Vermicelles" made of chestnut purée 

Rivella und Ovi Stengel

Ramseier Öpfelsaft

Spot the Aromat!
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