Thursday, July 30, 2020

Happy International Friendship Day

They’ve got your back, they’re always good for a laugh, and sometimes you swear they can read your mind. If these last few months have reinforced anything, it’s the importance of friendships that endure through all of life’s ups and downs. So today, on International Friendship Day, I'm appreciating my besties’ faces a little extra - even if I can’t see them all in person - and sending them lots of positive vibes and affection, just because.

The International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.

Through friendship - by accumulating bonds of camaraderie and developing strong ties of trust - we can contribute to the fundamental shifts that are urgently needed to achieve lasting stability, weave a safety net that will protect us all, and generate passion for a better world where all are united for the greater good.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

August 1st Mission

Switzerland’s image is closely related to the people and things that create it, such as Swiss brands, athletes and products. It is with such icons – and sometimes clichés – that House of Switzerland works. Their role is to showcase them in the best possible light and explain what makes them specifically Swiss and how that impacts Switzerland’s image.

Join the House of Switzerland on their 1st of August Mission and celebrate #SwissNationalDay virtually with fellow Swiss around the world yodeling, flag throwing and cervelat grilling. While it is difficult this year in some places to gather in person for August 1st brunches and other festivities, House of Switzerland will provide a little slice of Switzerland to ensure that you have a festive but safe National Day.

Be sure to return to this page closer to August 1st for the full programme and visit the experience brought to you straight from Switzerland and from Swiss embassies and consulates around the world.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Articrea, meet Ticino's artists

Aticrea is the Association of Ticino artisans and artists. It starts from the conviction that every artisan, in essence, thanks to his/her skills and creativity, is an artist. The aim is to support and promote its associates in the research, development, training and construction of collaboration networks aimed at improving the quality and quantity of the craft activity produced in Ticino.

Aticrea offers Ticino residents and guests of Ticino, the opportunity to meet an artisan and observe his/her art craft by booking a visit to their workshop.

It's easy, just click on the link, choose the materials you'd like to work with or the artisan you like to meet (many speak English), and book according to your schedule! Beware some might be on holidays these coming weeks.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

LongLake Festival Lugano 2020

The annual festival is keeping Ticino's residents and tourists entertained over the summer. The tenth edition of LongLake Festival has been reshaped ensuring a beautiful programme of events, which can be enjoyed in total safety.

Despite major changes compared to what was initially planned, the LongLake Festival schedule is full of stimuli and suggestions throughout the city. There are around 250 events planned, largely free of charge, offered every day, for a total of 82 programming days.

And if walking through Lugano makes you feel tired and hot, and you suddenly see a beach in the center, don't worry: you are not having a mirage. Welcome to Urban Beach. Equipped with deck chairs and refreshing vaporizers, this beach allows everyone to enjoy life along the lake while staying in the city. Free access, stress prohibited, unlimited relaxation.

Venue: LongLake Festival Lugano 
Where: City of Lugano, various locations
Date: until August 30th, 2020
For more info:

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Minions and Gru are supporting WHO

If you have kids you've heard of the Minons, the bright yellow creatures from the Despicable Me films. You either hate them or you love them! In any case storytelling is a powerful tool to accelerate positive social change in the world.

With that in mind, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Foundation and Illumination have partnered to release a public service announcement featuring the famous Minions characters and Gru, voiced by actor Steve Carrell, to show how people can stay safe from Covid-19. 

The Minions and Gru are supporting WHO in making sure people of all ages stay safe and healthy during this pandemic by physically distancing, keeping active and connected, and being kind and compassionate.

The video has been produced in support of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO. For more informationclick here:

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A fresh summer recipe

It has been a long time since I shared a recipe. During the summer month this melon soup with a sparkle is my favourite. Cantaloup, Charentais, Hami or Honey Dew Melons work well for this recipe. An easy, healthy summer soup that tastes refreshing and delicious! Guaranteed to be an absolute hit with ladies lunches and at dinner parties.

For more yummy and easy-to-prepare recipes click here:

Melon soup with a sparkle

Ingredients: (serves 4)
1 melon
1 ripe avocado
2 green limes
125gr creme fraiche
salt, pepper & tabasco to taste
250ml Prosecco (Cava)

Peel avocado and melon, remove all the seeds and chop into small chunks
Mix melon and avocado in blender
Add juice of two limes
Add crème fraîche
Add salt, pepper and tabasco to taste
Mix in chilled Cava just before serving
Decorate with slices of cucumber and serve

Sunday, July 19, 2020

#LuxemburgerliChallenge on Instagram

Luxemburgeli to Zürich are what macarons are to Paris... iconic and unique! As a Swiss raised in Zürich I would definitely argue that Sprüngli's Luxemburgerli are the best on the planet, eventhough no Parisian would agree with me.

How could I resist writing about the Luxemburgerli challenge? It consists of building a unique tower out of light and airy Luxemburgerli. Letting creativity run wild one is allowed to use any resources one needs. The Luxemburgerli can be multi-coloured or all the same colour, stacked on top of each other or fixed with some kind of help - let your creative juices run free. You can use any trick in the book.

Whether you submit the tower as a photo or video, in a post or Instastory, is entirely up to you. However, remember to use #LuxemburgerliChallenge and @confiseriespruengli and make sure that your profile is set to public (profile settings). 

Creativity wins the prize. All submissions will be judged by Sprüngli's dedicated Luxemburgerli Challenge Jury. The makers of the five most creative towers will win an exclusive one-year’s subscription of legendary Luxemburgerli. The Challenge runs until 31 July 2020. Good luck!

Saturday, July 11, 2020

August 1st brunch 2020

Celebrate Switzerland's National Day with a traditional Farmer's Brunch. It is a family event not to be missed. For the past 28 years Swiss farmers have been inviting city dwellers (Swiss and foreign alike) for brunch on their farms. This year 150 farms all across the country are ready to welcome over 100'000 guests. 33 of these farms are located in the Ticino.

Hosted by selected Swiss farms who offer you a brunch, they will provide you with the opportunity to taste different kinds of home-made cheese, meat, milk, bread, Birchermüesli and many other gastronomic specialities in a very particular atmosphere.

You'll have the certainty of trying some excellent high quality products. If you're lucky you'll enjoy some typical Swiss music, meet a Swiss celebrity, be served out of a giant Roesti frying pan or admire some amazing National costumes. The kids will love all the direct contact with the farms' animals.

Book now for a brunch in one of the farms! Click here to find a list of Ticino's participating farmers.

My favourite so far is: Alpe Duragno at the top of Monte Tamaro. My friends recommend the farms on top of Monte Generoso. Capanna Cava is worth a mention as well. I would be curious to hear about your favourite sites.

As places in the farms are limited, registration is mandatory and better done early. You can register by telephoning or e-mailing the farmers directly before July 30th 2020. 

Venue: 1.August Brunch
When: Saturday, August 1st, 2020
Time: 9:00 - 13:00
Price: CHF 25.- to 40.-
Directions: All participating farms will be signposted with the logo: «Brunch»
For more info: Tel: 056 462 52 10 on workdays from 10:00 bis 12:00 and from 14.00 to 16:00

Far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the beautiful Swiss countryside and fine Swiss products can be enjoyed not only on August 1st. Numerous farm families offer brunch at their farms even during the year. On the Swiss farmers' brunch-search or on, you'll find all the farms that offer brunches throughout the year!

Friday, July 10, 2020

The Swiss Covid App

Since its launch on June 25th some 20% of Switzerland’s population have downloaded the country's Covid-19 track and trace app. But is it enough to curtail the transmission of the virus? Two weeks after its launch, the SwissCovid app has been downloaded by 1.6 million Swiss. 

The SwissCovid app aims to detect further spreading of COVID-19 or a possible second wave at an early stage in order to be able to fight it better. Experts say that, to be truly effective, SwissCovid app must be used by at least 60 percent of the population. 

The app registers when an individual comes into contact with other people through a person’s smartphone location systems and bluetooth. Contact is traced when one person with the app is less than two metres from another person with the app for more than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period. Such contacts are recorded anonymously on both devices. If one of those users tests positive for the coronavirus, the person will receive a 'covid code' from the cantonal authorities.

If you have an iPhone 6 or a more recent model, or an Android 6, you can download the app for free from
The Federal Office of Public Health here: Covid app.

See how the tracing of transmission chains works:

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Ticino in 60 seconds

"This year you don't need to take a plane to reach your holiday destination and find unexpected sceneries."  With this tag line Ticino's tourist board is inviting travellers to discover its crystalline blue waters, the exotic green color of the palm trees and the pleasant Mediterranean climate. 

Enjoy the small moments of great experiences and share them with others. Join "Ticino in 60s" and upload your video with exactly 60 seconds of an experience in Ticino – your very own Ticino Moment – to the respective topic of the week and indicate in which region you have experienced it.

The site will then invite you to watch two videos by random generator. Which one do you like better? The best videos and the participants who voted the most successfully each win a prize. The prizes are awarded weekly.

Join the fun and discover off the beaten track places thanks to this great sharing platform: Ticino in 60 seconds.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy 4th of July

As a half-American, the 4th of July definitely does not go unnoticed and is part of our family tradition each year as so many other celebrations. Italian, Swiss, Spanish, French, British, there is something to celebrate practically every month to a certain extent.

By this month our family is usually already enjoying the Spanish sun as our house household moves to Madrid for the summer. Our July 4th tradition is a shopping trip to Taste of America, the local US grocery store which costs a bomb. Expat girl gets to stock up on American candy and weird coloured cereals while I dive for the Cinnamon bagels and the fun cake decorations. 

The boys of the family don't really get it, they'd much rather stick to their Italian heritage when it come to food... but as they say... you can take a girl out of New York but you cannot take New York out of the girl!

Happy 4th of July!

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