At first glance, Lugano seems like any other Swiss city. You have the trademark colorful old buildings and narrow streets with chocolate shops and bakeries in every corner and the mountain range gratuitously standing in the distance. But look closely at this city, located in southern Switzerland, just off the border of Italy, and you’ll find there’s actually more of Italia here than the traditional sense of Switzerland.
Street signs and billboards are all in Italian, the region’s official language
This region of Switzerland claims Italian as it’s main official language, but it’s more than that. There is a strongly Italian identity and atmosphere wafting on the streets of the city. The way of life is decidedly Italian, unhurried and sometimes loud; in bright opposition to the German-influenced particularity and preciseness of the North.
The scenery in Lugano and all around the adjacent lake is amazingly beautiful
Lugano is a small town without much activities, but the nearby mountains have fantastic hiking routes, leading to small villages at the edge of the lake. The lake itself is also definitely worthy of exploration – serviced by frequent ferries, it’s easy to hop from one side of the lake to the other. Just don’t expect the ferries to arrive or depart exactly on time, because you’re (almost) in Italy now!