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!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Sächsilüüte, Zürich's most important tradition

The biggest annual event in Zürich will take place tomorrow: the Sächsilüüte!

Translated as "the six o'clock ringing of the bells", the Sechseläuten - “Sächsilüüte” as it is called in local dialect - is Zürich's spring festival. It dates back to the 16th century and relates to the working hours of Zürich’s powerful trade guilds. While in winter the guilds’ workers downed tools at 5pm each day due to the failing light, in summer that was extended to 6pm. To mark the change in the timetable each spring, the Grossmünster bells would ring out at 6pm on the first Monday after the spring equinox.

To me it brings back childhood memories of participating in the Sunday's children parade with other 2000 kids walking through downtown Zurich in traditional costumes.

The main business, however, happens on Monday when most locals get the day off work, and everyone gathers in the streets to watch the procession of 3,500 guild members starting at the lower end of Bahnhofstrasse and ending at the Sechseläutenplatz, where a huge snowman towers over a bonfire waiting to be burnt.

The "Böögg", a snowman effigy that symbolises winter, and whose name could be related to the word bogeyman, is the main feature of the event. It is a longstanding Zürich tradition. Years ago many "Bööggs" were burnt on bonfires throughout the city to banish winter and usher in spring. In the 19th century that tradition was combined with the Sechseläuten and the burning of one giant "Böögg" became the festival’s climax. It takes place at 6pm on the dot every year.

Tradition has it that the "Böögg" can forecast whether it’ll be a hot, dry summer or a washout depending on how long he burns for. After he’s set alight Böögg-watchers time how long it takes for his head - packed with firecrackers - to explode. The quicker it explodes, the better the summer will be. So let’s hope for an early demise for the Böögg tomorrow.

 A rendering by Expat Boy many years ago...

Saturday, April 6, 2019


So here's a drum roll for a online community that does not receive enough attention in my eyes. When the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad celebrated its centennial in 2016 it launched an Instagram hashtag #WeAreSwissAbroad. How many Swiss living abroad have ever added that hashtag to their posts?

Over 760,000 Swiss citizens live outside the country's borders, making up approx. 10% of the total population. Most expats reside in neighbouring European countries. There is also a considerable Swiss community in North America.

So share your story! Tell us where you live? How do you see Switzerland from outside? What’s your emigration story? Did you do it for love? Was it an entrepreneurial risk?

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Parco San Grato is celebrating spring

Located in Carona, nestled on a hillside with a broad and splendid panorama, the San Grato Park owes its fame to the spectacular collection of azaleas, rhododendrons and conifers: the richest in the Canton.

Six thematic trails – botanic, relax, panoramic, artistic, legend and sensory – facilitate the visit thanks to the educational panels. A restaurant with a panoramic view and a park with a playground for children make San Grato an even more pleasurable stop.

Over 60 years ago the area surrounding the park belonged to Martin Winterhalter, inventor of the Rirì zipper, who used it as a horse pasture. The botanical garden was a created by Luigi Giussani, industrialist and founder of the steel mill Monteforno of Bodio in the Leventina Valley. He purchased the property in 1957, removed the woodland surface and planted the first azaleas and rhododendrons, plants that are particularly suitable for the park’s type of soil and the region’s meteorology.

Upon his death, the property was taken over by UBS. In 1997, the bank offered it to the Lugano Tourist Board.

This weekend the association "Amici Parco San Grato" is holding an event to thank the donors of the “Maltempo Project”. Guided Park tours and planting of new saplings will honour the heritage under the patronage of the World Wildlife Fund Panda Club. Everybody is welcome!

Venue: Vivi il parco San Grato
Where: Parco San Grato, Carona
Date: Sunday, April 7th, 2019
Time: 10:30 - 17:00
Programme: click here

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