Liberal Arts Blog — Lugano — the Most Wonderful Town in Switzerland? Is It the Food that Settles It?

Liberal Arts Blog — Sunday is the Joy of Humor, Food, Travel, Practical Life Tips, and Miscellaneous Day

Today’s Topic: Lugano — the Most Wonderful Town in Switzerland? Is It the Food that Settles It?

Mirror, mirror on the wall, what’s the fairest town in Switzerland of them all? I have never been to Lugano. But I just met a neighbor who claimed it is the most beautiful town in Switzerland and it seemed to me that the Italian food might well have been the factor that drove her selection. So I decided to do some research. Based on my experience to date, my choice had been Lausanne. Should I change my mind? Should I make Lugano my next destination when Covid passes (if ever)? Have you been? Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

63% OF LAKE LUGANO IS IN SWITZERLAND, 37% IN ITALY

1. Lugano is located in the Italian-speaking Canton of Ticino and is the largest Italian-speaking majority town outside of Italy.

2. The population of the town itself is about 60,000 and metropolitan area about 150,000.

3. The surrounding mountains are called the “Lugano preAlps.”

NB: The lake water is warm and a charming near-by lakeside village is Gandria (below). The year round population of Gandria is 200. The “Olive path” connects Lugano and Gandria.

LAKE COMO, IN ITALY IS NEARBY; A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY; SCHWEIZ MEANS SWITZERLAND (and “Lugarsee” means “Lake of Lugano”)

1. “The shores of Lake Lugano have been inhabited since the Stone Age.”

2. Etruscan from the 5th to the 2nd century BC. Roman settlers arrived in the 1st century.

3. The toponym (place name) first appears in 804.

NB: Before being made a Swiss canton in 1513, Lugano had periods of independence sandwiched between periods of control by the Dukes of Milan or Como.

THE PROVISIONAL CONCLUSION — WHY I’M STICKING WITH LAUSANNE

1. The Lugano mountains are just not as impressive as the alps of Lausanne.

2. But, Italian is a more beautiful language than French or German.

3. And, Italian food is, to me, more appealing than French or German.

NB: My mind is still open. Thoughts? Any lessons from prior decisions related to choices of vacation destinations?

FOOTNOTE — Food in Lugano and the meaning of “grotto” in the Canton of Ticino

1. Have you ever had “Flammkuchen”? (see fourth link)

2. Have you ever eaten in a “grotto”? (fifth and sixth links)

3. Clue: a grotto in Lugano is not a seaside cave as in Capri (home of the “Blue Grotto.”) It’s not for swimming but eating and drinking.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lugano

Lugano Prealps

Gandria

Lugano Dining Guide: It’s All About the Pasta — The Tasty Escape

Authentic and traditional cuisine | ticino.ch

Grotto

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