Friday, June 30, 2017

International community in Lugano

Reaching out has never been easier in Lugano. The International community is bigger than you might expect. So don't be shy. Check out these groups and connect. You might find a friend or two...

International Women's Club of Lugano Evening Club: The evening group is designed for IWCL members who either through family or work commitments find it difficult to join in Club activities in the daytime. That said the activities in the evening are open as well to husband, partner or friends and often other English groups are invited to the gatherings to allow our members to meet new friends and be able to share a fun evening with beloved one. IWCL Evening Group:

Check out MeetUp Lugano:
Free or paying events and you can even post your own event

Sign up for Franklin University events:
Offering events with speakers followed but a little reception

Contact Big Ben Club Lugano:

Or check out:
InterNations Lugano:
InterNations Lugano is very busy, out of almost weekly networking events open to all InterNations members, you can enjoy if you become an Albatross member special activities offered by themed groups, from hiking to language exchange, from drinks after work to inspiring events.

I have left the best for last. An ingenious and very dedicated British lady founded a closed group on Facebook called ENGLISH SPEAKING IN LUGANO SWITZERLAND a few years back.

This Facebook page is for Expats or English speakers living in Lugano aiming to help one another, offering information as to what's going on in and around the area, where to buy things, services offered or needed. If you want to sell some items or just need advice such as doctors, dentists, Kids clubs, Sight seeing...this is the page to go to:

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Let the Summer holidays begin...

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Lugano's Longlake Festival 2017

Summer will be hitting Lugano tomorrow in the form of the LongLake Festival. Having reached its 7th edition, the international LongLake Festival is one of the biggest open-air city festivals in Switzerland. Concerts, music for all tastes, literature, gatherings, entertainment, theatre, dance, cinema, children’s shows and urban art installations will invade the streets, squares and public parks of the city creating an intense encounter between artists and the public.

To better acquaint yourself with the ongoing events, the LongLake Festival has been split in ten 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.

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!

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.

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