Monday, September 30, 2019

Festa d'Autunno a Lugano

The first weekend of October Lugano celebrates the beginning of autumn! With the traditional Autumn Festival (Festa d'Autunno), the city welcomes magical fall atmospheres and invites its inhabitants to celebrate their grapes, wine and enogastronomy for three days!

Let yourself be inspired by the typical flavours of local gastronomy and taste Ticino's excellent wines thanks to the grottos' booths throughout the streets in the city center. Don't forget to lose yourself among the lively stalls for a bit of handcraft shopping and seasonal delicacies.

Do not miss the traditional music proposed by the friendly local folk groups while your children can have fun thanks to the many proposed kids' games.

Following you'll find the programme in Italian:

Venerdì 4 ottobre:
10:00 – 22:00 Mercato autunnale
16:00 – 02:00 Apertura dei grottini
16:00 – 22:30 PatriziAmo: i Patriziati di Lugano si raccontano nel Patio del Municipio con diverse attività
16:00 – 22:30 Musica popolare con I Patéla, Tacalà, Gruppo Costumi Valcolla e Coro I vus da Canöbia
16:00 – 20:00 Animazioni per bambini con Ludobus
18:00 Cerimonia d’inaugurazione con le Autorità cittadine. Seguirà il tradizionale sparo di moschetti ad opera del Corpo dei Volontari Luganesi che darà il via ufficiale all’edizione 2019 della Festa d’Autunno

Sabato 5 ottobre:
10:00 – 22:00 Mercato autunnale
10:00 – 02:00 Apertura dei grottini
10:00 – 20:00 PatriziAmo: i Patriziati di Lugano si raccontano nel Patio del Municipio con diverse attività
10:30 – 12:30 e 14:00 – 16:00 - Visita guidata del centro città. Ritrovo e biglietti gratuiti presso l’Ente Turistico del Luganese in Piazza della Riforma
11:00 – 20:00 Musica popolare con Tacalà, Duo Nostranello, Bandella dei soci, Gruppo Cantiamo Sottovoce e Gruppo Otello
11:00 – 16:00 Grazie all’Associazione pittori e scultori ticinesi si potrà ammirare l’arte dal vivo. Dalle 16:00 alle 22:00 in Piazza della Riforma esposizione al pubblico con possibilità di acquisto
14:00 – 20:00 Animazioni per bambini con Ludobus
17:30 Concerto nella Chiesa di San Rocco con il “Coro Val Genzana Massagno”, il “Gruppo corni delle Alpi I sifoni della Golena” e il “Trio ottoni Valsangiacomo”

Domenica 6 ottobre:
10:00 – 18:00 Mercato autunnale
10:00 – 18:00 Apertura dei grottini
10:00 – 18:00 PatriziAmo: i Patriziati di Lugano si raccontano nel Patio del Municipio con diverse attività
10:00 – 18:00 Musica popolare con Duo Nostranello,Gruppo Cantiamo Sottovoce e Gruppo Otello
10:00 – 18:00 Animazioni per bambini con Ludobus
10:30 – 12:30 e Visita guidata del centro città. Ritrovo e biglietti gratuiti presso l’Ente Turistico del Luganese in Piazza della Riforma
16:15 Concerto della Civica Filarmonica di Lugano al Palazzo dei Congressi

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Unexpected Classic Tour of Lugano

The Unexpected Classic Tour is a two-hour guided walking tour accompanied by two actors who take on the role of historical characters as they tell the story of the city, bringing the spirit of each era vividly to life. The charming actors will allow you to travel in time and get to know the people and the places that have made the city great.

The itinerary takes in a number of historical monuments as well as modern buildings by internationally famous Ticino architects. For those of you who want to discover Lugano’s many, multi-faceted characteristics and some of the city’s most meaningful places, this excursion is the best way to do so.

Meeting point on Monday, September 30th, 2019 at 10am at the Lugano Tourist Office in Piazza Riforma. (+41 58 220 65 05 or

Please reserve here:
The guided tour will be held in the two prevalent languages
The guide can decide to break off or cancel the excursion in case of bad weather
Difficulty level/walking: easy
Cost: free of charge

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Lugano's Ladies Run 2019

Don't miss the only women’s race in Ticino! "Ladies Run Ticino" proposes two route choices for the 2019 edition:

Ladies Run - 5 km: flat course suitable for all training levels
Ladies Run - 10 km: two 5 km laps, suitable for the fit runners or for those who want to test themselves

Both routes start at the Lugano lakefront (near Piazza Manzoni) arriving in Piazza Riforma / Manzoni and winding along the lakefront, Parco Ciani and through the city center.

Part of the fun is the «pink» village, a dedicated area entirely designed for participants with free welfare benefits and consultations for all members with exclusive services such as massages, beauty services, consultations, gifts and much more.

This event promises to be a great happening for women of every age. The racing package includes a pink t-shirt for all registered ladies.

It is possible to register on the spot (Piazza Manzoni, Lugano):
Saturday 28 September 2019 15.00-17.00 or
Sunday 29 September 2019 from 9.00 am

Click here for more info:

Friday, September 27, 2019

TEDxLugano 2019

Do not forget: #TEDxLugano's next conference will take place tomorrow Saturday, September 28th at the Palazzo dei Congressi in Lugano.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a programme called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Tomorrow's event is called TEDxLugano, where x = independently organized TED event combines TEDTalks video and live speakers to spark deep discussions and connections in a small group.

The theme for this fifth event is #Tailormade: listen and talk about how a tailor-made approach to life has become a basic building block of modern reality due to new emerging technologies and the desire for a better life experience.

From technology, entertainment and design to science, business and global issues, the universality and breadth of the theme allows for a reflection of multiple sides, including the ethical aspects and the implications of mass personalization on the individual and on society.

Book your ticket here: and check out the guest speakers and performers here:

The time schedule is as follows:
11.00: Doors open & Check-in
12:50: Auditorium Entrance
13.00: First session
14.45: Coffee break
15.15: Second session
16.40: Coffee break
17.20: Third session
19.00: Aperitivo

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Quinoa salad with feta, pomegranate and mint

Quinoa is a new entry in our family’s diet. I admit not being a huge fan of it but really do enjoy this fresh salad for its taste as well as for its colourful vibe. Healthy, refreshing, and deeply satisfying.

1 cup quinoa
 2 cups water
 ½ tsp salt
 1 pomegranate, seeded
 4 small Persian cucumbers (or 1 large English cucumber), diced
 1 bunch fresh mint, chopped (~ 4 Tbsp.)
 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
 1 lemon, juice and zest
 3 Tbsp olive oil
 ¼ tsp salt
 ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

1.) Add quinoa, water and salt to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then cover, turn off heat and let it sit for 15 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool.
2.) In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients together.
3.) In a large bowl, combine the cooled quinoa, pomegranate seeds, diced cucumber, mint and feta.
4.) Add dressing and toss to coat.

Monday, September 16, 2019


Have you heard about it?

Initially released in April 2019 and hitting cinemas this fall in Europe, this movie caught my attention. This astonishing, immersive environmental documentary began life as a nature conservation video about one of Europe’s last wild-beekeepers and was shot in over three years.

Should this have tickled your fancy keep your eyes open and let us know where we can watch it.

Hatidze lives with her ailing mother in the mountains of Macedonia, making a living cultivating honey using ancient beekeeping traditions. When an unruly family moves in next door, what at first seems like a balm for her solitude becomes a source of tension as they, too, want to practice beekeeping, while disregarding her advice. The most awarded film out of this year's Sundance Film Festival, winning the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize, a Special Jury Award for Cinematography, and another Special Jury Award for Originality. HONEYLAND is an epic, visually stunning portrait of the delicate balance between nature and humanity that has something sweet for everyone.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Work and Income in Switzerland

As the central statistical agency of the Confederation, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) has the task of providing Swiss statistical information to a wide range of users. It is one of my favourite sources. 

The Swiss Statistics website offers you a modern, attractive and up-to-date gateway to all statistical information and the infographs are great!

The “Statistical Yearbook of Switzerland” published by the Federal Statistical Office has been the standard reference book for Swiss statistics since 1891. It contains the most important statistical findings regarding the Swiss population, society, government, economy and environment.

Here is one example:

Figures from 2016 unless another year is specified

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Cost of Living in Switzerland

It's no use trying to hide the fact: Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world.
Three of the country’s most prominent cities - Zurich (3rd), Bern (10th) and Geneva (11th) - featured prominently in Mercer’s most expensive cities in the world list in 2018.

Already back in 2005, a Swiss household pays, for example, 26% more than a French household and 63% more than a Spanish household, to fill the same shopping basket.

The Swiss are a race of tenants and at present there is a shortage of apartments on the market, above all in the towns, especially in the Geneva and Zurich area. Housing costs are therefore comparatively high. In addition, you will find that the compulsory health insurance premiums can be very high.

These high prices for consumer goods, housing and health insurance are partly due to the relatively high level of salaries in Switzerland. According to a comparative study conducted by UBS on an international level, the Swiss hubs of economic development, namely Zurich, Basle and Geneva, are among the front runners of cities with the highest gross pay, for all types of professions.

According to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, the main items of expenditure in a typical Swiss household budget are social security contributions and taxes (29.0%), accommodation and energy (12-33%), transport (8.2%) and food (7.2%).

In 2017, 10% of people living in Switzerland had an equivalised disposable income that was less than CHF 26,328 per year. At the other end of the scale, 10% of people living in Switzerland had an equivalised disposable income that was greater than CHF 92,078 per year. The median shows that half of people living in Switzerland had an equivalised disposable income that was less than CHF 50,030 per year.

Swiss living costs can be especially though on students. For more info check out Study in Switzerland site here:

Friday, September 13, 2019

Keep Lugano's airport running

Hurry and make your way down to Agno Airport. They are holding an Open Door Day tomorrow.

Join in for a day full of fun for the entire family AND and amongst others SIGN THE PETITION to keep Lugano's airport open!

Under the motto "And yet you fly" Agno will be organising behind the scenes tours. You'll be able to visit the airport infrastructure including the control tower as well as the aircraft and fire service maintenance hangar. You'll get to board some cool aircrafts.

During the day there will be several performances by P3 Flyers, PC7 flights and model aircraft and parachute jumps.

Between 12: 00-13: 00 and 14:10-16: 30 you'll have a chance to perform scenic flights by plane / helicopter with on-site reservations.

True to Ticinese style lunch will be offered by the Aeroclub Lugano and Gruppo Volo Motore. Don't miss those delicious gnocchi with different sauces at the buvette!

Participate at the lottery and win flight vouchers. So, hop on and fly away for a day.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

7 tips for better communication with your tweens and teens

Any parent of a tween or teen will know things change when the hormones kick in at puberty. If you throw an international move into the mix it does not make it easier. We may talk using words, but our looks, gestures and actions and even our silences all convey messages to our children.

At the end of the day, you know your child better than anyone, and you are best placed to help him/her. Below are some pointers to guide you on your way.

These tips are especially useful if you lead a mobile lifestyle, as having meaningful chats with your child during times of transition will help deepen your relationship, meaning you’ll both feel stronger.

1. Listen more than you talk
As philosopher Epictetus once said, "We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak."

2. Empathize with the child and his/her message
Avoid giving instant solutions to your child. Advice can come later, when/if they ask for it.

3. Show acceptance
Clearly communicate acceptance of the child and what they are trying to say.

4. Talk with your child, rather than at him/her
Facilitate a two-way conversation, rather than giving a lecture. Children of all ages want to be understood, not preached to. They are also far more likely to take your advice on board if they have felt included in the conversation.

5. Request, don’t demand
Requests are best made in a simple, positive, one- or two-step process. Do not demand, ask kindly and with respect.

6. Treat your child as an equal
Communicate with your children at eye level, rather than from above. Take a seat together, or crouch down with young ones. This way the communication is both less threatening and more supportive. Going for a ride in the car together can work wonders!

7. Discuss change openly
If you are raising children who are growing up outside of their parents’ home culture(s) make sure you discuss each move with your child and prepare them for it.

It’s also crucial to remind your teen that friendship and love are never gone; their loved ones from a previous country or school are always there. Your teen can still communicate via email, Skype, telephone. Encourage him/her to take advantage of online technology.

... and never forget... you lead by example!

Monday, September 9, 2019

How are you doing, kiddo?

So you've landed at your new destination and you are beginning slowly... very slowly... to settle in. It is important when raising children anywhere to be continually engaging and checking in with them. It is especially important when you are asking them to start a new life in an unknown country with a language they might not speak yet.

Listen and encourage them to explain their answers or elaborate, but be careful to not be too pushy or to respond in a way that invalidates their answer. The purpose of asking these questions is not to provide a solution, but to open up the communication between you and your child.

1. How are you doing?
(It seems simple, but asking this question is one of the best ways to show your kids that you care. Make is clear that there isn’t a right answer and that it is ok if they really aren’t doing “just fine.”)

2. What are some things that you enjoy about living here?

3. Do you ever wish that we lived a different life?

4. What is something that you’re looking forward to?

5. What is something that you’re not looking forward to?

6. Do you feel like we spend enough time together?

7. Where do you feel most at home?

8. Is there anyone or anything that you miss right now?

9. Do you feel like people understand you?

10. What’s your favorite thing about yourself?

Last tip: I often feel that sitting across from your child, especially a teenager, gives less results than sitting next to them or engaging them in some sort of activity - it may just be walking side by side - to get them to open up.
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