Saturday, February 28, 2015

A fascinating day at Lugano's museums

Get ready to enjoy a day at the museum. Tomorrow, Sunday, March 1st, the admission is free!

Lugano's museums are offering free admission to all visitors on Sunday 1 March, 2015. The collections of the Cantonal Art Museum and the Art Museum of the city of Lugano will be showcased at the Palazzo Reali as well as the Wistari and Pylon collections at the Heleneum.

The Cantonal Art Museum offers "Photo. Pictures from the collections " a new staging of works from the permanent collection of Lugano's Art Museum, which traces the evolution of photography in art history.

Visitors will discover photographers from the Ticino, Switzerland and around the world, including Fiorenza Bassetti, Edo Bertoglio, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Gabriel Orozco and Thomas Struth. A free guided tour will be held at 15:00 along with a creative workshop for children. To register call 091/815'79'71 or by write to

The East Wing of the Museum will be hosting an exhibition of the artist couple Maria Iorio and Raphaël Cuomo entitled "Viavai. Cultural smuggling Switzerland-Lombardia "promoted by Pro Helvetia. The Museum is open from 10:00 to 17:00.

Balinese art and dance as well as Chinese theatre are the protagonists at the Museum of Cultures. "The Balinese art and dance of the Wistari collection" presents 50 works and a selection of photographs relating to Balinese court dancing belonging to Cristina Wistari, one of the most famous dancers of the genre. The exhibition traces the fascinating history of Balinese dance and presents its amazing features and peculiarities.

Further you can visit the colorful world of Peking Opera, Chinese Jingju, through a selection of works from the Pylon Collection, recently donated to the Museum by the Foundation Ada Ceschin and Rosanna Pylon. The Museum is open from 10:00 to 18:00.

So let the world come to Lugano this weekend. The programme is guaranteed to keep children as well as adults entertained. Have fun!

Friday, February 27, 2015

My booklist

It might be a little late... but here is a list of the 14 books I read in 2014. 

My absolute favourite was "A perfect heritage" by Penny Vincenzi. A family saga story set in the world of cosmetics. The House of Farrell was once very definitely prestige rather than mastige, established in the 1950s by glamorous husband and wife team Athina and Cornelius Farrell. But Cornelius, knighted at some unspecified point for services to moisturisers, is now dead and Athina is running the show in a rather grande dame manner. But the business is floundering and so she calls in Bianca Bailey, a hot shot consultant who has the perfect life...

Tickled your interest... order it online or download it as an audiobook at

Thursday, February 26, 2015

FaMigros Ski Day at Bosco Gurin

Ready for a family ski race or a snowboarding competition? On March 8th, Migros is organising a family day at Bosco Gurin. After registering online, you can collect your race number between 09.00 to 10.00 at the "Village". The starting area will be at the Rossboda chairlift.

Whether on skis or snowboard, from three to five family members can participate. The process is very simple: there must be at least one parent-/ grandmother / grandfather, aunt / uncle or a godmother / godfather, a maximum of two adults and a child born in 2001 or younger, competing together. The time stops when the last team member crosses the finish line.

This fantastic experience on the snow only costs 110.00 CHF per family, for members of the "Famigros" and the "Swiss Ski" only 85.00 CHF. Daypass, race, lunch, medal and gift included.

Information and registration on or directly at the counter of Vallemaggia Turismo, tel 091 753 18 85;

Venue: FaMigros Ski Day
Where: Bosco Gurin
When: Sunday, March 8th, 2015
Time: 9:00 collect race numbers, 10:30 race begins
Click here for the programme:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Switzerland's favourite winter sports

Following yesterday's infographic I came across one with Switzerland's favourite winter sports. I love infographics, especially when they are about my home country. Since Switzerland is not part of the EU, unfortunately, it often gets left out on the European information charts.

Did you know that "only" 46% of Swiss state skiing is their favourite winter sport. I would have thought it were considerably more?! An astonishing 11% declare snowshoeing their favourite activity of the season, whereas 10% prefer tobogganing. 7% are avid snowboarders.  6% of the Swiss population each claim cross-country skiing and ice skating as their favourite winter pastime. However, 14% of Swiss don't like winter sports. Are you one of them?

Friday, February 20, 2015

It's Fondue season

No matter if you are off skiing or not these holidays, the season is perfect for fondue. How better to end a day than with a fondue shared with family or friends? Fondue is not just a meal it is a social gathering. It is fun and it warms your soul as well as your tummy.

There are different kinds of fondue: Cheese fondue, Fondue chinoise (where you dip meat into bubbling broth), Fondue bourguignonne (when you dip meat into boiling oil). Both of the latter versions come with an array of yummy sauces such as curry, tartar, mustard mousse, cocktail sauce, just to name a few.

Switzerland was and always will be a Fondue country. 42% of Swiss believe Fondue is the most typical  Swiss dish. Followed by Rösti which is a sort of hashbrown just better and Raclette which consists of slices of melted cheese eaten with new potatoes.

In Swiss tradition if a nugget of bread is lost in the cheese either the person offers the next bottle of white wine (because you drink white wine or hot tea only with cheese fondue) or the other rule is, should you lose your piece of bread you need to kiss everybody of the opposite sex around the table. Enjoy your company and your meal!

Check out my recipe blog for a Fondue recipes here: Expat with Kids recipes

Bon appétit!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Wondering about Tax Obligations of American Citizens?

Tax laws and banking regulations are constantly changing for Americans living abroad. Come hear about Foreign Tax Credits, FBAR, FATCA, deadlines, expatriation and more. The presentation will cover topics related to all persons filing taxes in the USA. There will be ample time for questions. Presented by Jimmy Sexton, LL.M. of Esquire Group, LLC, an international tax advisory firm he co-founded in 2005. Hosted by AWOT and Franklin University Switzerland, the presentation will be free and open to the public.

Venue: Tax Obligations of American Citizens and Permanent Residents Abroad
Where: Franklin University Switzerland Auditorium, Via Ponte Teresa 29, 6924 Sorengo
Location: Nielsen Auditorium
Date: Thursday, March 5, 2015
Time: 20:00 - 22:00
Cost: Free
Contact: Leslie Guggiari via e-mail at:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Dating in the digital age

Now here is a fascinating bit of information I found on the net today. What ever happened to the old-fashion dating game of sending a Valentine's Card? How many of your received a card today and who received their wishes via internet?

Happy Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Carnevale in Ticino 2015

Carnevale is celebrated in almost all the the region with risotto, games, music, parades and masquerade balls.

The carnival is traditionally linked to fun and synonymous with lawlessness, transgression and excess. In a farming community such as the Ticino was until about the mid-20th century, this resulted in abundance of food, especially since the preceding period of Lent was a time of great rigour and austerity around the table.

The traditional dish of the carnival was risotto accompanied by the famous luganighe, a kind of pork sausage. Chestnuts with cream were also part of the menu. Carnival was a rare opportunity to meet for a festive occasion; music and dance favoured contact amongst young people. Bingo used to be played. The most popular game at the time was called palo della cuccagna where you had to reach the top of a "greasy pole" from which gifts and groceries were hanging. In the villages and towns the carnival season featured theater performances, dress-up parties and the publications of satirical magazines.

The end of the carnival was announced by a bell, and in some places by a bonfire. In areas of the Roman rite the last day of the festival was on Shrove Tuesday, whereas in the Ambrosian rite the festivities continue until Saturday.

In Lugano Carnevale begins the week before Mardi Gras with the visit of the King and Queen Sbroja to old peoples' homes.

On Thursday the procession of Lugano's school children is held, followed by the delivery of the city's keys to the rulers Ul Sbroja. On Monday you can taste the classic risotto offered to the city in Piazza della Reforma.

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 - Re (King) Sbroja visits the old people's homes

Thursday, February 12th, 2015 - Risottata for the students of Lugano's public schools; Don't miss the kids' procession departing at the Parco Ciani at 14:00 and arriving in Piazza Riforma at 15:30

Friday, February 13th, 2015 - Re (King) Sbroja visits the old people's homes

Monday, February 16th,  2015 - Risottata at lunchtime in Piazza Riforma (will be held at Centro Esposizioni, in case of rain)

Click here to find the complete carnival programme here:

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Costumes for Carnevale

Still not decided what you'll dress up as during the Carnevale. Looking for costume for your kids? Here are two addresses down town. Hurry, it looks like one of them might go out of business soon.

Fatefesta ( is a party store in Via Giuseppe Bagutti 18, Lugano which also sells costumes along with balloons and all sorts of party ware.

Centro Apollo ( is specialised in costumes for kids as well as adults. You'll find them in Corso Enrico Pestalozzi 10, Lugano.

Have fun choosing your dream outfit.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Book Thief at La Citadella

The English Film Club is opening its doors at the cinema Citadella 2000. So if you have your season ticket make sure you do not miss it. I am talking about "The Book Thief" directed by Brian Percival starring Sophie Nélisse, Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson.

While subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. In the basement of her home, a Jewish refugee is being sheltered by her adoptive parents.

Venue: The Book Thief by the English Film Club
Where: Cittadella 2000, Corso Elvezia 35, 6900 Lugano
Date: Friday, February 6th, 2015
Time: 18:15
For more info:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Celebrating 150 years of winter tourism

Switzerland is the original winter destination, thanks to a business minded hotelier in St. Moritz who wanted to attract more guests to his hotel in the Alps back in 1864.

Once people became captivated by this country's beauty during the winter, the birth of winter tourism in Switzerland had begun and there was no turning back!

Today, Swiss Tourism is celebrating "150 years of Winter" with their interactive “Swiss Winter Resort” finder.

Click here to take the test and see which resort is right for you. Based on your ‘winter profile’ responses, Swiss Tourism has some incredible destinations that will provide everything you are looking for in a resort destination!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

World Nutella Day on Feb 5th

Chocaholics know that there is chocolate and then there is Nutella. The creamy and delicious chocolate and hazelnut spread has been around since 1964, and despite the many imitations that have appeared in the market, Nutella continues to be the favourite guilty pleasure of chocaholics around the world.

It is not surprising that die-hard Nutella fans decided to start the Nutella Day tradition back in 2007. This sweet celebration was launched through social networks by a blogger and Nutella fan, and soon tens of thousands of like-minded Nutella devotees showed their appreciation for the chocolatey delight online.

Nutella fans of the world unite! Celebrate the existence of this delicious chocolate spread by grabbing a spoon and getting creative with hundreds of Nutella recipes. Start your Nutella Day with a classic Nutella-on-pancakes breakfast and follow with a shaken espresso with a dash of Nutella. On this day, add Nutella to your cupcakes, ice cream, mousse, or even to savory dishes. Your imagination is the limit! For inspiration click here! Nutella Recipes

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