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Old 28.05.2010, 15:53
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Life in Lugano

Hello,

I've recently been offered a position in Lugano and I'm currently contemplating whether to move. An important part of my decision is of course how I would enjoy living in Lugano, and while that is impossible to know in advance, I have a few questions that at least might give me a better idea. Very grateful for all answers and comments!

1. What is the weather like? Information I found on Internet seems a bit conflicting, as I find sites stating that Lugano has a warmer and sunnier climate than the rest of Switzerland, even slightly warmer and sunnier than Milan. At the same time, I find some sites saying that Lugano is rather rainy.

2. Any good bookstores? I'm a bibliophile I enjoy walking around good bookstores, such at Gibert Joseph in Paris or Chapters in Montréal. I don't realistically expect any bookstores of that size in Lugano, but it would still be interesting to know what bookstores and libraries there are.

3. What's the outdoors like? I'm very much into hiking in the mountains, so living in the Alps sounds rather tempting. Is it possible to go on hiking day-trips from Lugano?

4. What are the people in Lugano like? Montréal, where I've lived for many years, strikes me as a very friendly city where it's easy to make friends whereas, say, Paris is a decidedly less friendly city. To enjoy life in any city, friends are of course very important, so how easy is it to make friends with people in Lugano.

5. Lugano by night I know that Lugano is relatively small so I don't expect nightlife similar to Montréal, but it would be nice to know how the nightlife scene looks. I have friends who lived in nearby Como for six months and found it to be completely dead by night.

6. Cultural activities I enjoy going to the theater and to meet up with people interested in poetry and literature. How is the cultural scene in Lugano.

7. Possibly meeting a partner Don't get me wrong, I have no intention of using this site for this purpose and certainly don't expect any hands-on hints here. As a single guy who would be interested in settling down, I'm merely curious about your general views about how easy it is might be to meet single girls in Lugano. As far as I know, the larger the city, the higher the proportion of singles.

8. Latin dances I'm quite an active dancer and have been dancing salsa, bachata and tango each week for several years. I enjoy it quite a lot, and would want to continue dancing in Lugano, were I to move there. Any dance schools and Latin dance clubs in the area?

9. The job market As I said, I've been offered a position but we all know that most people change positions from time to time, so even though it's not an immediate concern, it would still be interesting to know what the job market in Lugano looks like and whether I'd be able to find a job in the area if I would be looking for a career change. (I have a PhD in economics, I'm fluent in English and French and fluent for all practical purposes in German and Italian, so I've got the four main languages of the Swiss job market covered.)

10. Everything else These are just a few thoughts, but I'm sure there are a lot of pros and cons that I have not considered and that you who know Lugano experience on a daily basis. All hints are very much appreciated.
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Old 28.05.2010, 16:22
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Re: Life in Lugano

Hi - I used to live in Lugano for some time. See my answers below - those are very subjective, others might have experienced it differently.


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1. What is the weather like? Information I found on Internet seems a bit conflicting, as I find sites stating that Lugano has a warmer and sunnier climate than the rest of Switzerland, even slightly warmer and sunnier than Milan. At the same time, I find some sites saying that Lugano is rather rainy.
Both is correct. The weather in Lugano is much better than in the rest of Switzerland, but still it is very rainy. However, you don't have too many rainy days - it just tend to rain very, very heavily (even with occasional flooding). Summers are warm with frequent thunder storms at night, winters are also rather warm (often around 8-12°C during the day) and quite sunny.
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2. Any good bookstores? I'm a bibliophile I enjoy walking around good bookstores, such at Gibert Joseph in Paris or Chapters in Montréal. I don't realistically expect any bookstores of that size in Lugano, but it would still be interesting to know what bookstores and libraries there are.
I don't remember any bookstores. Sure they exist, but they are not very exceptional. I also would expect them to stock only Italian and maybe some German literature.
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3. What's the outdoors like? I'm very much into hiking in the mountains, so living in the Alps sounds rather tempting. Is it possible to go on hiking day-trips from Lugano?
Definitely - yes. Outdoors around Lugano is great. Three lakes (Lago maggiore, Lago di Lugano, Lago di Como) nearby, very close to the mountains.
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4. What are the people in Lugano like? Montréal, where I've lived for many years, strikes me as a very friendly city where it's easy to make friends whereas, say, Paris is a decidedly less friendly city. To enjoy life in any city, friends are of course very important, so how easy is it to make friends with people in Lugano.
I found it very difficult to meet locals. Most people I used to hang out with were foreigners as well. People are ok, but not generally not the most cheerful crowd.
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5. Lugano by night I know that Lugano is relatively small so I don't expect nightlife similar to Montréal, but it would be nice to know how the nightlife scene looks. I have friends who lived in nearby Como for six months and found it to be completely dead by night.
Lugano is tiny. Population is maybe around 50'000. There's some nightlife, especially during summer when tourists come to the city. In winter it gets very quiet.
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6. Cultural activities I enjoy going to the theater and to meet up with people interested in poetry and literature. How is the cultural scene in Lugano.
You would need to go to Milano for that. About 1h drive from Lugano, has an opera, theaters, etc. in Lugano there's very little happening in this respect.
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7. Possibly meeting a partner Don't get me wrong, I have no intention of using this site for this purpose and certainly don't expect any hands-on hints here. As a single guy who would be interested in settling down, I'm merely curious about your general views about how easy it is might be to meet single girls in Lugano. As far as I know, the larger the city, the higher the proportion of singles.
hmmm...... don't expect too much of a dating scene. I often got the impression that people would marry someone they knew from school. There are many single girls from Russia in Lugano, but the typically have some professional interest when talking to you.
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8. Latin dances I'm quite an active dancer and have been dancing salsa, bachata and tango each week for several years. I enjoy it quite a lot, and would want to continue dancing in Lugano, were I to move there. Any dance schools and Latin dance clubs in the area?
No clue.
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9. The job market As I said, I've been offered a position but we all know that most people change positions from time to time, so even though it's not an immediate concern, it would still be interesting to know what the job market in Lugano looks like and whether I'd be able to find a job in the area if I would be looking for a career change. (I have a PhD in economics, I'm fluent in English and French and fluent for all practical purposes in German and Italian, so I've got the four main languages of the Swiss job market covered.)
Job market sucks.
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10. Everything else These are just a few thoughts, but I'm sure there are a lot of pros and cons that I have not considered and that you who know Lugano experience on a daily basis. All hints are very much appreciated.
Just be prepared that Lugano is really small and rather quiet. Don't know how old you are, but from a professional p.o.v. moving there might not be the wisest decision (little development opportunity).
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Old 28.05.2010, 16:46
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Re: Life in Lugano

Thanks a lot for your helpful replies. Of course I would have liked to read something a bit more positive, but an honest and negative answer is of course 100 times more welcome than a positive answer that doesn't match reality.

So it seems you did not really enjoy Lugano? If it's almost impossible to meet locals, not much of a nightlife scene and very hard to meet members of the opposite sex, it might not be the best place for single guy of 32 years. Well, it's better to find out about that before I've made my decision instead of afterwards.

Needless to say, I'm very much interested in hearing what others have to say as well, whether you agree with Ticino's comments or not.

By the way, I'm also looking into a position in Lausanne so I've posted a similar thread about life in Lausanne as well.

Once again, thanks a lot!
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Old 28.05.2010, 16:54
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Re: Life in Lugano

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Thanks a lot for your helpful replies. Of course I would have liked to read something a bit more positive, but an honest and negative answer is of course 100 times more welcome than a positive answer that doesn't match reality.

So it seems you did not really enjoy Lugano? If it's almost impossible to meet locals, not much of a nightlife scene and very hard to meet members of the opposite sex, it might not be the best place for single guy of 32 years. Well, it's better to find out about that before I've made my decision instead of afterwards.

Needless to say, I'm very much interested in hearing what others have to say as well, whether you agree with Ticino's comments or not.

By the way, I'm also looking into a position in Lausanne so I've posted a similar thread about life in Lausanne as well.

Once again, thanks a lot!

No - don't get me wrong. Lugano is not all bad - there are many things I enjoyed about it. Beautiful outdoors, nice climate, Italian lifestyle, closer to the Mediterranean, etc. On a personal level, I would have enjoyed staying there - however, professionally it doesn't get you ahead. And, it is really small - so you should be aware of that. Going there as a single guy might be a bit boring.
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Old 28.05.2010, 17:02
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Re: Life in Lugano

We seem to think about the same lines. If I were married, had kids or in a stable long-term relationship, I would not hesitate much about going to Lugano, as it seems to be a very nice place in many ways. It is precisely because I'm a single guy that I wonder about nightlife, dancing, making friends and possibly meeting a future wife.
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Old 31.05.2010, 20:59
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Re: Life in Lugano

Again about the nightlife in Lugano. I have no experience at all of it, but I came across the site usgang.ch that has galleries from nightclubs for each night in most Swiss cities.

Looking at the galleries for last Saturday, there seem to be at least 3-4 quite decent clubs in Lugano. Then again, it's always hard to judge from galleries. I post them here, and at least to me they look better than what I had expected from Lugano nightlife but I would of course appreciate hearing from some more people who have actual experience of it!

New Orleans Club
http://ticino.usgang.ch/picture.php?n=395283&page=0

Qube
http://ticino.usgang.ch/picture.php?page=2&n=400731

Privilege Club
http://ticino.usgang.ch/picture.php?n=395343&page=0

Club 1
http://ticino.usgang.ch/picture.php?n=395429&page=0

If these four clubs are as good as the pictures look (and that's a big 'IF'), then perhaps Lugano isn't that dead at night?
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Old 31.05.2010, 21:12
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Re: Life in Lugano

I'm a luganese, so I'm probably biased..but.

1. Weather is nice. It doesn't rain a lot, unlike the northern part of .ch.
2. Most of the book are either italian or german. Check melisa.ch, it's the biggest library in Lugano.
3,4,5. If 40min 1h train/car ride aren't a problem, you can have anything you want, go to Milan for museums nightlife, go north for hicking, etc..
6. Cultural-italian, or cultural-english?
7. Good luck
8. Definitely! I remember going to http://www.discoangels-ti.com/ sometimes.. and there are also a lot of salsa schools. Also note that this point definitely is connected to point 7. :-))
9. I am working in Zurich...

10. FOOD FOOD FOOD!
10bis. ITALY. Don't forget that you can easily go in Italy from here, and if you learn italian it will be soo easier for you to enjoy italy without living there

My suggestion is to accept the job, go there and see what you can do and what you can't. Books can be bought on Amazon, food and climate not.
If you are an outgoing person you can make new friends everywhere.
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Old 31.05.2010, 21:42
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Re: Life in Lugano

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I'm a luganese, so I'm probably biased..but.

1. Weather is nice. It doesn't rain a lot, unlike the northern part of .ch.
Sounds nice! How is the weather compared to Milan?

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2. Most of the book are either italian or german. Check melisa.ch, it's the biggest library in Lugano.
Kein Problem für mich, parlo le due lingue

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3,4,5. If 40min 1h train/car ride aren't a problem, you can have anything you want, go to Milan for museums nightlife, go north for hicking, etc..
And how is the nightlife in Lugano itself? I posted a few links I found on-line above, I guess you might be the right person to answer that post.

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6. Cultural-italian, or cultural-english?
Primarily in Italian, I assume. English isn't a problem either, of course.

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7. Good luck
Any idea about the prospects? I'm asking since I know that my own home-town (less than half the size of Lugano) definitely isn't a place I'd recommend to any single person.

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8. Definitely! I remember going to http://www.discoangels-ti.com/ sometimes.. and there are also a lot of salsa schools. Also note that this point definitely is connected to point 7. :-))
Great! Is it still active, though? I checked the homepage and didn't find any new information after 2007. But if there are salsa schools in Lugano, I would definitely have something to do. And as you say, it tents to help with point 7.

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9. I am working in Zurich...
That's a very good point.

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10. FOOD FOOD FOOD!
10bis. ITALY. Don't forget that you can easily go in Italy from here, and if you learn italian it will be soo easier for you to enjoy italy without living there

My suggestion is to accept the job, go there and see what you can do and what you can't. Books can be bought on Amazon, food and climate not.
If you are an outgoing person you can make new friends everywhere.
Thanks again for your help! The food is definitely a big plus And as I wrote above, I already speak Italian so the language shouldn't be any problem.
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Old 01.06.2010, 15:25
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Re: Life in Lugano

Weather is better than Milan because Lugano is closed in between mountains with a lake. Also check pollution levels.. you can see from Lugano the amount of sh#t milanesi breathe if you go on top of any mountain on a nice day.

Luganesi tend to think that Lugano is dead during week nights, but if you know where to go you can have fun every time.
Lugano fills during "blues to bop festival" and "estival jazz". If you like to drink wine you can check for the "vendemmia" festival in Lugano or Mendrisio.

I think you can have good fun in Lugano anyway. Some luganesi tend to go to Milan to have fun (it's also more "anonymous", if you know what I mean..).
..hoping that no luganese woman will read this...some luganesi (men) tend to agree that (young) women in lugano think to be too good ( snob). Go north some kilometers and women are more easy going. I have to stress that this is not my opinion, though!!!

I think you have to check your priorities...I think that it's acceptable to live in a nice-quiet-clean-etc. place even if you have to drive your car 1h if you want to listen to "La Traviata" or just go in the most posh discotheque around.
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Old 01.06.2010, 15:33
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Re: Life in Lugano

Just one thought to the OP: why are you considering only Lugano and Lausanne if you seem to be somewhat concerned about nightlife, culture, etc. Compared to Montreal they are both rather boring places, even if they might have their advantages. If you really want to live in Europe you could look further - London, Paris, Berlin are probably more what you're looking for. If climate is an issue, consider Madrid (imo the most beautiful city in Europe), Barcelona, Rome.
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Old 01.06.2010, 15:54
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Re: Life in Lugano

Ticino, that's a good question. Nightlife is not that important to me, I don't go to rave clubs or the like. My concern is that as I'm slightly older than the student crowd, I'd like to have something to do on weekends and a chance to meet people. Not just a potential girlfriend, though it would be nice, but friends in general. So when I talk about nightlife, I'm not thinking about the scene in Montréal, Paris or London, I just want to be sure that there's something going on in the weekends, something to do rather than just sit at home all alone.

Apart from that worry, Lugano and Lausanne look very appealing. I've lived in both Paris and Montréal, but I miss the nature in both. Paris is, in my eyes, way too big to meet people - everybody is so stressed and everyone you meet live an hour away by RER. So I think Lugano and Lausanne appear to have a lot going for them.
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Old 01.06.2010, 15:57
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Re: Life in Lugano

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Ticino, that's a good question. Nightlife is not that important to me, I don't go to rave clubs or the like. My concern is that as I'm slightly older than the student crowd, I'd like to have something to do on weekends and a chance to meet people. Not just a potential girlfriend, though it would be nice, but friends in general. So when I talk about nightlife, I'm not thinking about the scene in Montréal, Paris or London, I just want to be sure that there's something going on in the weekends, something to do rather than just sit at home all alone.

Apart from that worry, Lugano and Lausanne look very appealing. I've lived in both Paris and Montréal, but I miss the nature in both. Paris is, in my eyes, way too big to meet people - everybody is so stressed and everyone you meet live an hour away by RER. So I think Lugano and Lausanne appear to have a lot going for them.
With the exception of the truly miserable climate (rain, cold, fog, rain, cold, fog), Zurich could be an alternative option as well. Definitely more going on than in Lugano and Lausanne, yet still small enough to get out of the city quickly.
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Old 01.06.2010, 16:09
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Re: Life in Lugano

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Again about the nightlife in Lugano. I have no experience at all of it, but I came across the site usgang.ch that has galleries from nightclubs for each night in most Swiss cities.

Looking at the galleries for last Saturday, there seem to be at least 3-4 quite decent clubs in Lugano. Then again, it's always hard to judge from galleries. I post them here, and at least to me they look better than what I had expected from Lugano nightlife but I would of course appreciate hearing from some more people who have actual experience of it!

New Orleans Club
http://ticino.usgang.ch/picture.php?n=395283&page=0

Qube
http://ticino.usgang.ch/picture.php?page=2&n=400731

Privilege Club
http://ticino.usgang.ch/picture.php?n=395343&page=0

Club 1
http://ticino.usgang.ch/picture.php?n=395429&page=0

If these four clubs are as good as the pictures look (and that's a big 'IF'), then perhaps Lugano isn't that dead at night?
As many people said, Lugano is small, but it has actually a lot to offer considering the size.
Thursday and Friday night are full of people doing "Aperitivo" after work.
Monday night is the Movie night, with discount tickets (10 CHF instead of 15).
During the weekend you have some choice.
For Bar/Pub (open until 1AM):
- New Orleans
- Ethnic
- Oops
- Tra
- Soho
- Picchio (for Aperos)
- Lido (summer time)
Disco (open until 4AM):
- Privilege
- Pacha (little bit out of Lugano)
- Madai
- Angels (Lugano South)
- Vanilla (30min away, direction Locarno)
- Club One
- Qube (ex Morandi)

About the people, they are a bit more open compared to Zurich, but it's off course difficult to get introduced.

Employment.....I also left Ticino to work in Zurich.

Maurizio gave a nice overview of Lugano as well.
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Old 01.06.2010, 18:37
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Re: Life in Lugano

Hi Tierry_san.. are you following me from a forum to another?
If you are that Tierry from Supsi..
:-)
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Old 01.06.2010, 19:52
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Re: Life in Lugano

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As many people said, Lugano is small, but it has actually a lot to offer considering the size.
Thursday and Friday night are full of people doing "Aperitivo" after work.
Monday night is the Movie night, with discount tickets (10 CHF instead of 15).
During the weekend you have some choice.
For Bar/Pub (open until 1AM):
- New Orleans
- Ethnic
- Oops
- Tra
- Soho
- Picchio (for Aperos)
- Lido (summer time)
Disco (open until 4AM):
- Privilege
- Pacha (little bit out of Lugano)
- Madai
- Angels (Lugano South)
- Vanilla (30min away, direction Locarno)
- Club One
- Qube (ex Morandi)
That's very nice to know, thanks! So what do you people who know Lugano think about those places, are they any good?

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About the people, they are a bit more open compared to Zurich, but it's off course difficult to get introduced.
I would guess that's the case almost everywhere in the world except in Montréal where it's really easy to make friends. As long as it's not harder than in other European cities, I guess it shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 02.06.2010, 12:14
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Re: Life in Lugano

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That's very nice to know, thanks! So what do you people who know Lugano think about those places, are they any good?



I would guess that's the case almost everywhere in the world except in Montréal where it's really easy to make friends. As long as it's not harder than in other European cities, I guess it shouldn't be a problem.
Believe me: it IS HARDER than in other European cities......
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Old 03.06.2010, 11:47
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Re: Life in Lugano

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Believe me: it IS HARDER than in other European cities......
Aha, and why is that? And when you say harder, with what European cities are we comparing? Harder as compared to Paris, to Southern Italy, or to a Scandinavian city?
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Old 03.06.2010, 13:44
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Re: Life in Lugano

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Aha, and why is that? And when you say harder, with what European cities are we comparing? Harder as compared to Paris, to Southern Italy, or to a Scandinavian city?
harder as compared to all other places I know except for St. Gallen. I've lived or at least worked (i.e. spent 5 days a week) in many European cities and imo it's more difficult to meet people in Lugano than in most other places.
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Old 03.06.2010, 14:51
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Re: Life in Lugano

That's interesting to know. I've lived in a Finnish city for a year, meeting people there was no walk in the park either I happen to know a girl in Lugano, though, so at least she'd introduce me to friends.
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Old 03.06.2010, 17:47
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Re: Life in Lugano

I visited Lugano yesterday to acquaint myself with the city before deciding and I really enjoyed it a lot, very beautiful setting (of course) and the city felt very comfortable. Then again, I fully realize the difference between being a tourist visiting for a few sunny and warm days in June and being a resident going to work in the rain in December...
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