Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Natale in Piazza a Lugano

With numerous entertainments and events, the Christmas holidays are a fabulous time to spend in Lugano. Christmas in Lugano starts with the lighting of the tree in Riforma Square. From that moment, the heart of the city becomes a bright village, bestowing opportunities for entertainment, musical performances, a market and surprises until the Epiphany.

From November 23rd, the City will be transformed with Christmas lights, sounds and colours. The most beautiful festival of the year is celebrated with the markets, a children’s village, concerts, entertainment, the New Year’s Eve open-air party and many other events that will fill the city with the magic of Christmas up until January 7th, 2018.

Lighting of the Christmas Tree (in the presence of the city authorities, Julie Arlin)
01.12 / 18:00 Piazza della Riforma

There will be a distribution of little gifts for children offered by Migros Ticino. Acoustic concert with Charlie Row, followed by Brass Band T-X-Project.

The Christmas Market
23.11 – 23.12 / 11:00 – 19:00
24.12 / 11:00 – 17:00 City centre
23.11 – 07.12 Piazza della Riforma and via Nassa
08.12 – 24.12 City centre

Christmas Village
23.11 – 07.01 Piazza della Riforma and Piazza Manzoni

Food huts, musical entertainment and family entertainment with the special programme “Christmas for children”.

Exchange of Christmas wishes
21.12 / 18:00 Piazza della Riforma

In the presence of the Lugano Municipality and members of the City Council. Panettone and mulled wine are offered to all.

Mass on Christmas Eve
24.12 / 22:00 Cattedrale di San Lorenzo

City Tour on board the tourist train
Saturdays and public holidays from 02.12 to 17.12 / 10:30 – 16:30 (every 30 minutes)
Saturdays and public holidays from 23.12 to 07.01 / 11:15 – 16:30 (every 45 minutes)
Weekdays from 27.12 to 05.01 / 12:45 – 16:30 (every 45 minutes) Piazza Manzoni

50 free tickets will be on offer for kids aged three to ten years accompanied by an adult every Saturday in December and on Saturday, January 6th, 2018.

Shopping: special opening hours
08.12 / 10:00 – 18:00
10.12 / 10:00 – 18:00
17.12 / 10:00 – 18:00
24.12 / 10:00 – 17:00

Great prize-winning competition
Christmas competition of the Lugano Shop Owners Association, in which three great prizes (shopping vouchers worth CHF 1’000.–, 500.– and 250.–) can be won, as well as many other surprises. To take part, simply fill in one of the postcards that can be found in participating stores. The winners will be drawn in mid-January.

Music in the Piazza
30.12 / 20:00 – 01:00 Piazza della Riforma

For the 30 year-anniversary of RETE TRE, the “New Year Swiss Rock Festival” will offer entertainment, DJ sets and many live guests: the CorLeoni, the Dögz, Andrea Bignasca and the Vad Vuc.

New Year’s Eve celebrations
31.12 / 22:30 – 02:30 Piazza della Riforma

RSI will see in the New Year in the Piazza, bringing the evening to life with music and entertainment from some of RETE TRE’s best-loved DJs, the contagious beats of Ridillo and the Frontaliers Bussenghi and Bernasconi.

New Year’s Day ceremony
01.01 / 11:00 Palazzo dei Congressi (Convention Center)

In the presence of the city authorities and the Lugano Volunteer Corps an Aperitivo will be offered to everyone (departure of the procession from the Piazza della Riforma at 11:00).

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Open your world

Honestly, I am no beer drinker, never have liked beer, never will... but this Heineken ad caught my attention. The beer company went in a wonderfully different direction from parties and loud music. In fact, it is the exact opposite of what we've come to expect from decades of beer ads.

The ad features people who disagree on issues like climate change, feminism, and transgender rights.
There's one important catch: The two people don't know they disagree with each other when they first sit down.

Take a look for yourself:

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Lugano free City Tour

If you hurry you can participate in a free city tour of Lugano today. You might feel at home along the Lago Ceresio but have you ever taken a tour of your own city... just for the fun of it?

Autumn in the region of Lugano gives magic emotions… the glowing “palazzi”, the flavours of the local cuisine and sunny days that can warm up one’s face and heart. Pretend to be a tourist for a day.

Lugano Turismo wishes to promote its city and let you spend unforgettable moments by offering a guided excursion in the city center. You'll discover the most hidden corners and enjoy a small tasting experience of local products.

The guided tour will be held in the two prevalent languages from 10:30 to 12:30.
Meeting point is at the Information office: Ente Turistico del Luganese in Piazza Riforma. For more info call: +41 91 605 12 26

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Thanksgiving is a time
For reviewing what we treasure,
The people we hold dear,
Who give us so much pleasure.
Without you as my friend,
Life would be a bore;
Having you in my life
Is what I'm thankful for"

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

How NOT to talk about the weather

With the holiday season coming up... you might have a social event or two on your agenda. So what DO you discuss to avoid the awkward silence? Need ideas? Well, here are 32 party conversation starters to get you through the holiday season and beyond. Just a few positive subjects to discuss that go past commenting on the weather. Cheers!

What are your vacation plans for the holidays?
What’s on your bucket list in 2018? Why do you want to go there?
Have you done any short weekend getaways recently? I’d love some recommendations.
Do you prefer a summer or winter vacation?
What’s the most amazing hotel you’ve stayed at?
What’s the best travel experience you’ve ever had?
What’s the most beautiful beach you’ve ever visited in the world?

Ask the longest-married couple at the table to tell the story of their wedding day.
Do you think that telling the truth is always right—even when someone gets hurt?
Tell a fun and hysterical story about the person to your right.
Ask the parents at the table to describe what happened on the days their children were born.
What’s the best surprise that you’ve ever received?

I’m really into [new fitness class]. Have you done it before?
Have you ever tried eliminating alcohol from your diet for New Year' resolutions? Would you do it?
What’s the craziest wellness trend you’ve tried? Did it work?

What was your most memorable meal of the year?
What’s the best restaurant you’ve ever been to?
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
What is your favorite kind of cheese?
What’s your signature dish?
What’s your favorite recipe book and why?

If you could have any job in the world, what would you do?
Ask older family members to describe their first jobs.
Did someone at the table experience a career milestone this year, such as starting a new job, graduating, or receiving a promotion? Ask them to share how it’s going.
What’s your passion? Would you ever want to turn it into a business?
Do you agree with the quote “find something you love and turn it into your job”?

Black Friday: yea or nay?
What show are you most excited about right now?
Where were you when [insert topical event] happened?
How did you celebrate last Thanksgiving?
What holiday movie are you looking forward to seeing?
What are you most thankful for?

Monday, November 20, 2017

Two million foreigners in Switzerland

Today there are over two million foreigners living in Switzerland. They account for almost a quarter of the total population. But who are these foreigners who are often at the center of political debates?

Switzerland is one of the countries with the highest proportion of foreigners (24.9% in 2016) in its territory. Only a few individual cases, such as oil countries or city-states like Luxembourg, have even higher rates than Switzerland.

The chart below shows the nationalities of all foreigners living in Switzerland. Over 80% come from European countries. German, Italian, Portuguese and French citizens alone account for almost half of all foreigners in Switzerland.

Did you know that the permanent and non-permanent resident population of Ticino was 354 375 for 2016?

Take a peak at the latest statistics chart by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office. Click here for a cool interactive chart from SwissInfo.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

7th World Peace Forum in Lugano

Established in 2011, Culture Ticino Network is a non-profit, apolitical and non-religious association located in Lugano. It promotes a culture of peace, the protection of the human physical and mental integrity and the protection of the environment by organizing many national and international events.

Culture Ticino Network aims to create a network of associations, foundations, schools, universities, public and private institutions, companies and the whole population in the Ticino, in Switzerland and other countries all over the world.

As part of the 7th World Peace Forum, Lugano (Nov. 13th - Dec. 7th, 2017) and on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of formal relations between the Philippines and Switzerland, Dr. Ricardo Trota Jose will explain the Filipino identity, focusing on Filipino psyche and behavior coming from more than three centuries of Spanish rule and more than 40 years of American occupation.

You are all warmly invited to “Bridging East and West: The Philippines in Asia and the World, commemorating 60 years of Philippines-Switzerland Relations and More”, a lecture by Dr. Jose, Professor of History and Director of the Third World Studies Center, University of Diliman (Philippines).

The event is sponsored by the Embassy of the Philippines (Bern) in collaboration with the association Culture Ticino Network (Lugano).

Venue: 7th World Peace Forum, Lugano - Guest lecture by Ricardo Trota Jose
Where: Nielsen Auditorium, Franklin University Switzerland, Via Ponte Tresa 29, 6924 Sorengo
Date: Tuesday, November 21st, 2017
Time: 19.00 till 20.00
Programme: 7th World Peace Forum, Lugano

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Anglican Church's Advent Market

The Anglican Church of St. Edwards have a brand new web site where you will find details about who they are, a little of their history, and news of current and upcoming events in and around the English-speaking church.

But why not check it out yourself and visit their yearly Advent Market on Saturday, November 18th, 2017.

You'll be spoilt with homemade cakes, puddings and preserves, coffee and light snacks, Tiffany’s Treasures and Children’s Christmas Gifts. This is a major fundraising initiative for the church and any support is welcome. There are many parishioners currently working very hard behind the scenes to make it a success.

St Edward’s welcomes visitors as well as permanent and temporary residents from all over the world. Whatever your background or circumstances, everyone is invited.

Venue: St. Edward's Advent Market
Where: Casa Benson, Via Clemente Maraini 6, 6900 Lugano, Tel: 091 968'11'49
Date: Saturday, November 18th, 2017
Time: 10:00 - 15:00

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Homesickness fix

We moved from Lugano to Paris many moons ago and nothing cures homesickness like indulging in local foods when travelling back to the Ticino for the holidays. Not only do we Export food shop before we leave Switzerland, we treat ourselves to all kinds of culinary delights that have become part and parcel of our family's how-to-cure-homesickness menu. Here are just a few...

There is no denying that Ticino architecture, cuisine and culture is closely related to that of neighbouring Italy.

A Ticino autumn classic: roasted chestnuts

Cheese from the local alps, most notably Gottardo

Infiltrated from Italy no doubt! ;)

October is game season in Ticino. Personally I prefer the side dishes of spätzle, chestnuts, red beets, sprouts and wine-soaked pears.

Coop yoghurts still look like they did in the 70s and taste the same too...

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate!

Lindt marketing at it's best... just morph the traditional chocolate easter bunnies into Christmas bears.

The classic of all classics: Swiss Milk Chocolate

The most iconic Swiss chocolate, now declined into creative panoply of flavours.

Kids' Export shopping

Thursday, November 9, 2017

World Freedom Day

In many parts of the world, freedom is something that is taken for granted. The freedom to choose any religion we want or no religion at all, the freedom to be in a relationship with the person we love, the freedom to travel…the list goes on. Unfortunately, there are many, many places in the world where these freedoms are not available to people.

If you don’t know what it means to be afraid to voice your opinion, then you can consider yourself very lucky to live in a place where liberty is a priority as well as a basic human right. And like all good things, liberty should be celebrated, and that’s what World Freedom Day is all about.

The History of World Freedom Day

The World Freedom Day is a federal observance commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall. The day commemorates the end of communism in Eastern and Central Europe and was designated in 2001 by President George W. Bush. It was created to celebrate the reunification of loved ones separated by the Iron Curtain and differing ideologies, and ultimately serves to acknowledge that the resolve of the masses can shift boundaries, break unfavorable resolutions and ultimately determine the type of leadership they desire so as to live is a freer, more fair society.

World Freedom Day is celebrated every year on November 9th.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Lugano in B&W

Back in the Italian part of Switzerland for the autumn break and we are falling in love with this corner of the world all over again.

Ticino is a land of artists where culture is still a way of life. It is a place where art, architecture and history are intertwined with breathtaking nature and impressive landscapes.

With its lakes and mountains Ticino is typically Swiss but with added sunshine and Mediterranean flair. The mix inspires lifestyle as well as food and drink.

Parco Ciani is the green heart of the city of Lugano, a beautiful public park of 63'000 sqm.

Villa Ciani, a beautiful mid-1800’s mansion with sober neoclassical shapes 
featuring 30 frescoed rooms. 

In 1912 the villa and the park were purchased by the city of Lugano.

The funicular Angioli is (was) the fourth funicular of Lugano and certainly the most unknown.
In 1910 this funicular was built and started to link the lake promenade to the big hotels in 1913. In 1973, the owner gave the funicular to the City of Lugano whom decided to suspend the exploitation in 1987.

The church of S. Tommaso at Agra. The church initially belonged to the parish of S. Pietro in Pambio and then became an under-parish in 1591.

Happy Hour Ticino Style.
Waterfront lounging in Morcote.

The picturesque village on the shores of lake Lugano prevailed over 12 contestants to win the title of “Most beautiful village of Switzerland 2016”.

 With its characteristic small alleys, the arcades of old patrician homes, valuable architectural monuments and its natural beauty, Morcote is considered “the Pearl of Ceresio”.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Swiss Cuisine: facts & figures

Switzerland owes its rich culinary heritage to its great many regional specialities. Many traditional dishes have their roots in Switzerland’s farming culture.

- Around 400 different Swiss products, such as “Gruyère” (cheese), “Longeole” (a sausage from Geneva) and “Basler Läckerli” (biscuits) are officially recognised as part of Switzerland’s culinary heritage.
- The Swiss eat the most chocolate in the world, consuming close to 11kg of chocolate, per person, per year.
- Switzerland has over 450 different cheeses.
- The Swiss consume 21.5kg of cheese per person, per year.
- There are more than 1,680 artisan bakeries in Switzerland.
- Switzerland has a huge assortment of sausages and dried meat specialities, which vary from region to region: “La Longeole” in Geneva and the “Saucisson Vaudois”, the “St. Galler Bratwurst” (veal frying sausage), “Jura boudin à la crème“ (blood sausage ), “Bündnerfleisch”, and “mortadella di fegato” (liver mortadella) from Ticino, to name but a few.
- Around 200 grape varieties are grown in Switzerland. 40 of these are indigenous varieties.
- Valais is the largest wine-making region. Over 50 different grape varieties are grown there.
- Absinthe, a plant-based spirit, was banned in Switzerland following a popular initiative in 1908. The ban was lifted in 2005.
- Many homes in Switzerland use the powdered seasoning “Aromat”, which was invented by Knorr in 1952. In 1908 Maggi created its now famous and extremely popular stock cubes.
- “Cenovis”, a spread made from yeast, carrot and onion extract, was launched in 1931. “Parfait”, another popular Swiss speciality, has been around since 1942.
- “Ovomaltine”, which was invented in 1865, is a milk-flavouring product made from malted barley, skimmed milk and cocoa.
- “Rivella” is a carbonated soft drink made from milk serum. It was launched in the 1950s.
- “Ricola” is a boiled sweet made from a blend of 13 herbs and has been manufactured since 1940.

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