Sunday, September 27, 2020

Lugano's Autumn Festival 2020

The traditional Autumn Festival is returning, bringing Lugano's streets and squares to life. For three days visitors will be able to discover local cuisine and try excellent Ticino wines at the various grottos spread throughout the city streets. 

The autumn market offering local food products and handicrafts is not to be missed. To add to the festivities, there will be plenty of musical entertainment offered by various folk bands. As for children, the Ludobus will return to the Piazza della Riforma with its range of fun wooden games. Finally, you can join free guided tours enjoying the beautiful architecture and landscapes of Lugano.

Autumn market: Fri 16:00 - 22:00 / Sat 10:00 - 22:00 / Sun 10:00 - 18:00

The grottos will offer different traditional menus, so you can enjoy the local Ticino gastronomy in a convivial and festive atmosphere.

Free Lugano City Tour: 30.09 from 10:30 to 12:30 / 30.09 from 14:00 to 16:00 / 01.10 from 10:30 to 12:30. Meeting point and ticket sales: Ente Turistico del Luganese – Piazza della Rifoma.

Detailed programme:

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Sunday brunch at Lugano's Lido

Lugano's infamous brunch spot reopens for business this weekend! aL LiDO is a restaurant, a disco-bar and a beach lounge right on the lakeside where you can relax, taste a wide range of gastronomic products, sit back on the terrace and enjoy the spectacular view of the Gulf of Lugano.

aL LiDO Autumn brunch is open every Sunday from September 27th to December 20th; the gastronomical suggestions and public events follow the season, and from the indoor area you will enjoy the beautiful lake view regardless of the outside temperature.

The Restaurant aL LiDO was founded by four young professionals in the fields of gastronomy, communications and management consultancy, who from an early age had spent their summers here on the beach of the Lido of Lugano. It was during a winter get-together that they came up with the idea - based on memories of their teenage days at the Lido - to promote one of the most beautiful places in Lugano. The City Council appreciated their concept and was enthusiastic to let them develop it and so, out of the many applicants, conferred the management of the restaurant and kiosks of the Lido di Lugano to these young men. And so it happened... an experience not to be missed!

aL LiDO, Via Castagnola 6, 6906 Lugano, Tel 091 971'55'00 or

Monday, September 21, 2020

Ticino's Chestnut Trail

It's Chestnut time and what better way to enjoy the sunny autumn weather than with a healthy hike?

The Chestnut Path is a thematic path about 15 km long (9,5 km if you choose the shorter route) in the high region of the area, known as Alto Malcantone. The trail winds through the woods and explores the land of chestnut trees! Besides revealing woods, crops, chestnut trees, the trail accompanies you through pleasant surroundings and a harmonious landscape where nature stands out in all its splendour.

The itinerary offers you several panoramic spots and the possibility of admiring the architectural details of certain picturesque villages that this very special excursion joins together. Several didactic points, simply marked on the ground and amply illustrated in a separate brochure, may be found along the way. You can even cover just short legs of this trail.

The path is marked with the symbol of a chestnut, which is visible on all of the yellow signs. The signs along the pathway are interrupted at the intersection where the trail meets the Cantonal road. After having crossed the street, the trail continues, as can be seen by following the pertinent signs marking the path.

Join the local tradition and pick some chestnuts along the way for arts and crafts. Have fun!

Thematic itinerary: Arosio - Breno: 2 h 50 min / 9.5 km / Altitude difference 444-484 m

Hiking circuit: Arosio-Mugena-Vezio-Fescoggia-Breno-Caroggio-Arosio: 4 h 20 min / 15.1 km / Altitude difference 626-627 m

For more info click here: 

Click here for the map:

Sunday, September 20, 2020

The story behind the Swiss cowbell

Cowbells originally helped owners locate lost cows or determine which cow belonged to which farmer, based on their sound. Modern technology should have made cowbells obsolete, but technology can’t replace the culture behind it. There is a Swiss cowbell festival every three years highlighting the importance of the cowbell tradition. 

As a young man, Peter Preisig saw that the traditional art and technique of cowbell-making in the Alps was dying out, so he decided to act. He’s fascinated by the fact that simple raw materials can be used to create an instrument with such rich tones. 

He spent many years in various jobs – from the car industry to mechanical engineering – before becoming a self-taught blacksmith. Learning the skill took him nearly 20 years. Now 45, he has been a full-time cowbell maker for four years.

To make a cowbell, Preisig heats a cut steel plate in a furnace until it is red hot before beating it with a hammer. This process is repeated around 20 times. The original steel plate gradually turns into half a cowbell.  

The secret to creating these instruments lies in the sound, which is made by layering brass or bronze. The metals are then sintered into the cowbell steel plate and fired at 1,500-1,600°C.  

Afterwards, the bell is dressed in clay, before smashed bullet shells made of brass, copper and zinc are placed between the cowbell and the clay mantle. The thicker the metal, the higher the tone. The steel alloy also plays a role, as does ensuring the metal is processed evenly. The rest is confidential. No two cowbells look or sound the same. 

Friday, September 18, 2020

The olive grove trail

The Olive grove path passes through an area where the remains of ancient olive trees may still be seen. It is a trail that runs along the lake framed by natural beauty, with an incredible panorama on the lake and surrounding mountains.

The Path winds along the countryside between Castagnola and Gandria and crosses hillsides of ancient olive trees where just recently fruiting olive trees have been reintroduced. You can reach the path either from Castagnola (close to the old Municipal, or from Gandria (start from the parking area at the canton’s street above the village). The path is described beginning in Gandria and is identified by the olive logo. There are 18 panels offering descriptions of the olive tree’s history, its botany, its cultivation and its products.

The idea of the Olive Tree Path was conceived of by the “Friends of the Olive Tree” association in collaboration with the Fund of Naturalistic and Archeological Sites in Gandria belonging to the Foundation of the Italian speaking Switzerland for Scientific Research and University Studies.

It's definitely worth a try with your kids or even your parents. Happy weekend!

Sunday, September 13, 2020

An increasing number of Swiss nationals live abroad

At the end of 2019, more than one in ten Swiss nationals lived abroad. Almost two thirds lived in Europe, notably in France. Their number continued to increase, both among the young and old. 

Overall, the share of women remained greater than that of men, according to the results of the statistics on the Swiss abroad from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO). 

I am one of the 200'000 Swiss living in France. Where do you fit in?

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Chocolate heaven in Zürich

Inspiration struck this morning... I need to plan a trip to Zürich asap!

The Lindt Home of Chocolate, a 65,000-square-foot museum complete with interactive exhibitions, the world’s largest Lindt chocolate shop, a ‘Chocolateria,’ and the world’s largest chocolate fountain, will open its doors in Zurich tomorrow.

The contemporary, light-filled museum building in Zürich’s Kilchberg suburb will complement the historic Lindt and Sprüngli factory building, which dates back to 1899. I have sweet memories of getting a private tour through the grounds early on a Saturday morning back in the 1990s!!!

The multimedia chocolate exhibition will cover the origins of the cocoa bean, the history of the production process, and the food’s cultural legacy. In the ‘Chocolateria,’ participants can create their masterpieces as Lindt Master Chocolatiers in training. 

The pièce de résistance is the chocolate fountain, standing more than 30 feet tall in the imposing entrance, the largest chocolate fountain in the world. The seemingly weightless construction holds 1,500 kg of real chocolate and is the perfect start to the incomparable experience at the Lindt Home of Chocolate. 

Book your chocolate experience online now: Experience the fascinating world of chocolate, create your own delicious treats, discover the biggest Lindt Chocolate Shop in the world, and let yourself be spoilt at the Café.

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