Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A beautiful day in Lugano

Looking onto the Lake of Lugano

Tiger Lily is in town

Lugano's symbol: Monte Bré

BSI is about to be integrated into a bank called EFG International, a global private banking group. Another tradition lost.

An intriguing private courtyard in the city center

Only in Lugano: Tea Room Vanini and Ristorante Federale

 A glorious day in Ticino

Friday, October 28, 2016

Six years of blogging: Expat with Kids blogiversary

Back in 1998, three days after our wedding I had followed my hubby to the other side of the world convinced I would never again return to good old Switzerland. As my mother tends to say: "You never know what comes around the corner." Nine years later I was back on my home turf!

On January 6th, 2007 the kids started public school in Lugano. A big change from the English speaking International school in Madrid from where we had moved. Switzerland was to become our home and I set my mind towards a long-term commitment, happy to have returned to my roots.

Although Lugano is the Italian speaking part of the country, the system, the rules and regulations, the transport system, the food, the people and the way of living were very familiar. It did not take me long to slip into Ticino lifestyle, nevertheless keeping a low profile and trying to fit in with the locals... no easy feat!

The day started early, by 8:00 the kids were out of the house, however, they would come back for a two hour lunch break at 11:45. At 15:30 it was time to pick up little Expat girl. I loved spending time with my kids but this schedule did not leave much time for other projects.

Lugano at the time was booming , many Expat were arriving especially from Italy and Russia. The housing market was at an all-time high. What was missing was an English guide on how to find your way around the area.

I had come across blogging thanks to a table neighbour during a dinner party. Little did I know it was to become a passion. With time on my hands and a determination to share all the advantages this lovely spot has to offer I launched into my blog Expat with Kids and never looked back. The first post was published on six years ago today.

In the meantime Lugano tourist office has launched an English blog, the English speaking community has an excellent Facebook page and there is even a new International school just across the border.

So, I might not be the only kid on the block anymore but my passion for blogging has remained as has my love for the Ticino... and that is more than enough reason for me to continue to blog!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Halloween parties around Lugano

Halloween Party in Bissone:
The parents' association of Bissone is organizing a Halloween party at the Lido di Bissone on Saturday, October 29th starting at 17:30. It is free and is for children as well as adults. All that is asked of you is to bring something for the buffet table (aperitivo or dolce). There will be a DJ and he seems to be very good.

Date: Saturday, October 29th, 2016
Time: 5:30 pm
Where: Lido di Bissone, Piazza Francesco Borromini 1, 6816 Bissone
Cost: free, bring a dish
Contact: Associazione genitori di Bissone

Come celebrate Halloween at All For Kids in S. Antonino:
On Sunday, October 30th find activities for the kids, and refreshments for all at All for Kids Showroom in S. Antonino. Parents can mingle and shop while children play games or make crafts in the new expanded Showroom space. Stop by for a short time or stay all afternoon. Open to the public so feel free to spread the word. Every child in a costume will receive a FREE gift!

Date: Sunday, 30th October 2016
Time: 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Where: All For Kids Showroom, Via Cimitero 21, 6592 Sant'Antonino
Cost: Free
Contact: Robin Bognuda at 091 580 30 82

Halloween on the lake of Lugano:
How about spending a fun afternoon cruising the lake of Lugano? On Monday, October 31st leaving at 14:30 you can enjoy a two hour scary tour with your kids: Make-up and games are included. Make sure to reserve beforehand at or call 091/ 971 52 23.

Date: Monday, 31st October 2016
Time: 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Where: Crociera Halloween, Lago di Lugano
Cost: CHF 22.- (adults), CHF 10.- (kids)
Contact: Società navigazione del Lago di Lugano at 091/ 971 52 23


Monday, October 24, 2016

Halloween Party for families

Looking for a Halloween celebration for the whole family? Come celebrate Halloween at All For Kids!

There will be games and crafts for the kids, and Halloween inspired snacks for all. The fun starts at 14:00, and every child in a costume will receive a free gift. Stop by for a short time or stay all afternoon. Parents can mingle or shop while the kids play in our new expanded space. Registration isn't required, but if you know you're coming please tell us so we have enough supplies and snacks.

Contact Robin at 076 580 30 82 if you have any questions. Parking is available. For more information, please visit

Venue: Halloween Party for families
Where: All For Kids Showroom, Via Cimitero 21, 6592 S. Antonino
Date: Sunday, October 30, 2016
Time: 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The autumn flavours of Ticino

Ticinese cuisine, which is closely related to that of Lombardy, is, like in all regional gastronomies, the result of a continuous process that lies somewhere between evolution and preservation.

The poor and monotonous food of the last centuries, when the majority of the Ticinese people lived off chestnuts, polenta and potatoes, slowly became richer. New food, flavours and recipes came into the picture with the changing of the times, also thanks to Ticinese immigrants that brought back different culinary ideas from the countries they visited.

At the same time, however, Ticinese cuisine preserved several of its characteristics: the use of genuine products, the simplicity of dishes tied to the rural world and the fondness for tasty flavours. Today it proposes dishes prepared according to the recipes that have been handed down from one generation to another but also the modern re-visitation of traditional recipes.

The following are among some of the most renowned and appreciated Ticinese dishes: minestrone, pumpkin soup and “busecca”, risotto, roasted meats (rabbit, kid), and polenta with Luganighetta sausage or brasato (braised meat), baked, sautéd or marinated fish from the river or lake.

Among drinks, besides local red and white wines, there is fresh and thirst quenching lemonade called gazzosa but also grappa and ratafià (also called nocino), a liqueur made from walnuts of which, they say, only friars know the original recipe.

Sunday lunch at Grotto al Mulino

Served with heart: Vellutata di zuccha

Brasato con polenta and a boccalino of Merlot ticinese

Click here for a list of grotto:

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Ultimate Swiss Adventure in Ticino

World-renowned adventure photographer Chris Burkard has been discovering the Ticino and turned it into his playground to promote Switzerland abroad together with Swiss Tourism board and Swiss Airlines.

Chris picked out some of his favorite activities which many of us living in Ticino might have been enjoying with our kids. Even if you are a local the video is fun to watch. See how many places you recognize.

Be sure to share it with your friends living in the United States (this drawing is offered only in the US) so they can win the Ultimate Swiss Adventure here in Ticino: register to win a trip!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Educating for complexity

It started with three simple words back in 2015: New Strategic Plan which resulted with a three page Strategic vision resumé last night.

In between lay months and months of hard work: preparation, organization, team building, work shopping, brainstorming, cooperation, compilation, creation, realization, revision, leading up to the revelation and launch of the school new innovative and ambitious Strategic plan. A road map towards the future.

Last night a little association created over 50 years ago in Paris announced to the world it was going to play with the big guys of International schools by putting itself on the educational map. It did so with a bang inviting staff, students, parents, alumni, press and local dignitaries to celebrate the official launch in the Natural History Museum of Paris. It was the perfect surroundings to get a very important message across to everyone.

The IB school has reached a crossroad in it's life cycle: it can either engineer its way around this and carry on as before or it can redesign a new, more challenging but ultimately more rewarding path for staff and students.

There is a palpable sense of evolution as the school's mission transforms in the service of a different vision. More than half a decade of accumulated experience in International education gives it the confidence to offer a bold vision for its future. We are moving from experience to influence.

Lived experience is often complex and it is communities such as our school's that have so much to offer. The new Strategic plan provides a road map for the future allowing our children to engage with and succeed in an increasingly complex world.

As for last night, out of roughly 400 kids I can say I did not see a single one walking around with his head stuck in a device! All of them were running along the esplanades of animals under superbly designed lighting effects and theatrical settings. It will be night in the museum they will not forget... and neither will I.

A spectacular backdrop for a celebration

Moving from experience to influence

It's a complex world we are navigating in

Familiar faces

Curiosity never hurts

Amount of waste a family of four produces in 10 days

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The World's Biggest Eye Contact Experiment

On Saturday the 29th of October, 2016 hundreds of thousands of people from around the world – from Tel Aviv to Melbourne – will stand united in eye contact. It is the official date for the World's Biggest Eye Contact Experiment, a global event inspiring the world to share authentic eye contact and connection in public. Last year over 100,000 people from over 156 different cities were involved.

The Liberators International are the global organisers of this event. They are a peaceful international social movement founded in Perth, Australia and are passionate about creating participatory public demonstrations for peace and videos that allow us to see that beyond our differences there is love and humanity.

“Our global society has become thirsty for true connection and this experience allows you to be the change you wish to see in the world by creating an authentic, loving and respectful platform for human connection to flourish in public.”

Your participation in this global event demonstrates that beyond our differences there is love and humanity. You will be representing your country on this incredible day and what happens will forever change the social fabric of the present and future. Sign up here.

The only Ticino event is awaiting clearance for Locarno. Stay tuned with this list of participating cities:

For more info click here:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Trump and Hillary made me smile today

We all know the American presidential election campaign is in full swing - whether you are following it or not - the media is having a field day. It is difficult to ignore all the coverage worldwide.

Here is a video that made me smile and I just had to share with you. I hope it makes you smile as well...

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

International Day of the Girl

In 2011, as the result of youth advocacy around the world, the United Nations declared October 11th as the International Day of the Girl. Its mission is “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”

It is a day when activist groups come together under the same goal to highlight, discuss, and take action to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere.

The challenges girls face differ across the world, but by ensuring data on girls is gathered and recorded, it is hoped that this year’s International Day of the Girl will support future progress by recording present facts.

Girls in numbers:
-  70% of the world’s poor are girls and women
-  62m Number of girls who should be in school but are not.
-  830 girls and young women die during pregnancy and childbirth every day
-  55% of the 20.9m victims of forced labour are girls and women
-  39,000 girls are married before they turn 18

October 11 is not just a day; it’s a movement!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Swiss Expat Stats

The Swiss apparently do not find their motherland to be a particularly exciting country, since the most common (although not the most important) reason for their relocation is the search for an adventure or a personal challenge (mentioned by 28%). In addition, 24% of the Swiss report that they specifically wanted to live in the country they currently reside in, and according to a further 22% they simply enjoy living abroad.

Many Swiss expats have previous experience with life abroad. Almost a quarter (24%) has lived in four or more countries before, excluding Switzerland and their current host country; globally, only 16% of participants can say the same. Planned lengths of stay do not deviate as much (e.g. 27% Swiss vs. 25% overall plan to possibly stay forever). However, in contrast to the worldwide trend, stays of 3–5 years are somewhat more popular with the Swiss than those of over five years (20% and 10%, respectively).

Luckily, the Swiss passport seems to open many doors, as an exceptionally high percentage of the Swiss expats (59%) mention that getting a visa for their host country was very easy, an opinion only 41% of their global peers share.

Expat statistics on the Swiss abroad - infographic

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Switzerland's most beautiful village is in Ticino

More than 31,000 Swiss took part in the competition organized by the country’s four public television stations and the magazines Schweizer Illustrierte, l’Illustré and il caffè.

Out of 12 finalists, Morcote won hands-down. The runners up were Ardez in Lower Engadine, Binn in Lower Valais and St Ursanne in the canton of Jura with its medieval centre.

Situated a few kilometres from Lugano, the village of 770 inhabitants actually belongs to the Paradiso administrative district. Who knew?

The most beautiful village competition has been going since 2011, last year’s winner was Soglio in the canton of Graubünden, and in 2014 the canton Fribourg village of Gruyères scooped the prize.

Take a minute to enjoy the pictures of Switzerland's four most beautiful villages and click here:
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