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Old 30.12.2006, 16:43
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Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons

Hi, dear forum friends!

Can you please tell me more about the pros and cons of living in Lugano or at least in the canton of Ticino? I have tons of questions but of course Iíll be happy if I even get answers to a few of them
Do you like the city?
Are the common people and the employees friendly?
How is shopping and cultural life there?
Can you go to shop to Italy and to visit cultural events there (e.g. Milan) on a regular basis?
Is there a significant English-speaking expat community? And Canadians in particular?
Whatís the weather like? Is it too gray and rainy as in the north?
What is the level of crime? (I mean both violent crime and petty crime such as pickpocketing)
Are there good facilities to learn Italian on the spot?
Salaries, cost of living?
Anything else positive or negative that you might think of?
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Old 30.12.2006, 20:37
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Re: Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons

Dear Herodotus,

Lugano is a stunning place to be. My wife and I first visited the city in 1980, immediately fell in love with the place, vowed to someday buy an apartment there, and were finally able to do so in 1997. Although we don't live in Lugano fulltime, we've spent enough time in area to hopefully be of help so here goes:

Q: Do you like the city?
A: Asked and answered.

Q: Are the common people (i.e., average citizens?) and employees friendly?
A: I guess the answer depends on your origins. As an American, I generally find the Swiss reserved and - despite their Italian blood - the Ticinese are no exception (in fact they tend to look askance at their kin across the border). People you encounter on a day-to-day basis are polite but warmth is difficult to find no matter the season of the year.

Q: How is the shopping and cultural life?
A: Shopping for staples is easy (if not cheap). I'm not much of a shopper but you can likely find most of what you might want although variety is somewhat limited. The local cultural offerings are plentiful and a fairly complete listing can be found on the Lugano Tourism website.

Q. Shopping / attending cultural events in Italy (Milan)?
A: Milan is less than one hour distant from Lugano by train so shopping/cultural excursions are quite doable.

Q: Local English-speaking expat community?
A: I know there are organized American and UK communities you can locate on the web. I'm afraid I can't be of help in terms of a Canadian community.

Q: Weather?
A: Spring and autumn are my favorite seasons in Lugano since it tends to be sunny and relatively mild. No surprise here, but summers are getting quite hot. In terms of winters, I was there this past January when the city received almost one meter of snow (a once in 20 years phenomenon - or so they say). The bottom line regarding the elements, Ticino tends to have more sun than other parts of Switzerland.

Q: Crime?
A: It certainly exists but both my wife and I feel quite safe in Ticino. As you can imagine, it's always prudent to be prudent.

Q: Learning Italian?
A: You should have no problem enrolling in Italian lessons. My son attended Scuola ILI di Lingua e Cultura Italiana and I would definitely recommend their programs.

Q: Salaries / Cost of Living?
A: Since I'm not employed in Switzerland I don't have any firsthand experience with salary levels. Based on what I've heard people working in the area are generally well compensated.

As to the cost of living, Switzerland is pricey and Lugano is no exception. Your outlays won't usually be jaw dropping if you live modestly. My wife and I own a condo in Lugano-Paradiso and the maintenance fees and taxes are pretty much along the lines of what we would expect to pay in the U.S. in similar circumtances.

No place is perfect but Lugano/Ticino is a very nice place to be. I've come to the conclusion that for me that means living there just part (3-4 months) of the year.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Best of luck!
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Old 30.12.2006, 22:40
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Re: Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons

Thanks a lot, PublishingConsultant!

It seems that Lugano is a wonderful place and if there are good English-speaking expat communities, the reserved locals are not a problem.

Happy New Year!
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Old 31.12.2006, 11:08
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Re: Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons

One thing Lugano might be missing is an English/Irish style pub. Swing over the border to Varese and there is the Scotsman with a few nice beers on tap

Shopping - as you're so close to the border, it's only right to go over and shop there for many things. Some things, for example many electrical goods are cheaper this side, mind you.

For bigger things, the stores in Italy are well set up for tax-free shopping.

If you like queuing then Grancia will be your thing. Also Fox Town on a Sunday is heaving.

Lifestyle is nice this side of the Alps and if you're looking for a foothold in the English-speaking community, there is a nice little church near the station called St Edwards where many foreigners get to meet each other.

This was a special report from Lobbus Rockus looking down from San Salvatore, over and out
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Old 02.01.2007, 17:06
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Re: Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons

Great tips, Lob Rockster! Thanks a lot and Happy New Year! It seems that Lugano is my place.
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Old 14.01.2007, 13:49
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Re: Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons

You think Lugano is your city? Well, it depends where you live in Canada and what kind of lifestyle you are looking for. If you are used to big cities, then Lugano is very small. I just came back in Switzerland after 18 months spent in Montreal and I tell you.... how sad Lugano looks. But if you are looking for quite life then it is definitely your city. Good luck!

P.S.: by the way....I love your Country!!! hehehe
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Old 14.01.2007, 21:13
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Re: Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons

My partner and I have now lived in Massagno (right near the Lugano FFS station) for about two weeks, so here's my view as a newly-settled foreigner:

- I've found the people to be somewhat more reserved than in California, but I don' think they'd be out of place in the Northeastern US. Once I interact with people here, I find them to be generally as friendly as anyone else.

- We're paying about the same for our apartment in Massagno (a few hundred meters from the station) as we did for our apartment in San Diego. Some of the apartment things are a little strange to us - chiefly, only being allowed to use the washing machine 2 days per month.

- Public transit here is much better than we expect coming from the US, though people I've talked to from other areas of Switzerland say it's not as good as the other major cities.

- Food is more expensive than we're used to in the US, but not insanely so.

- We've run into occasional language issues - my office operates in English, but our administrative mothership is in Zurich so things like my retirement plan are all in German. We both speak a bit of Italian (and we're improving rapidly), and I can read it reasonably well but often "multi-lingual" documents are only in German and French, leaving Italian as the odd-language-out when dealing with large nationwide or worldwide companies. But overall we're doing pretty well in this regard; it's amazing what a small amount of Italian you need to learn to accomplish the basics, and when I've been in over my head I've found people to be quite patient with me.

- Shopping is reasonably easy - once you learn which stores you like, the only thing that takes some getting used to is the limited operating hours. I've found the selection at Migros, Coop, etc. to be quite good. Carrefour has more stuff and is somewhat cheaper, but it's a bit insane to navigate.

- Outside of my office, we've only encountered a couple of Americans/Canadians in the time we've been here. We live in a fairly large apartment building, and so far the only neighbor we've found who speaks English is Sri Lankan.

It's been a little stressful on occasion, but so far we're enjoying it and looking forward to warmer weather. (We moved from San Diego, so we're a bit spoiled in that regard.)

Anyway, that's enough rambling from me. Feel free to ask followups or PM me for more details.
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Old 15.01.2007, 00:13
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Re: Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons

Thanks a lot, tgpt! It's great to get some info from newcomers!

I'll be happy if you share more interesting information once you get new impressions from life in Ticino! Feel free to PM me too!

Greetings from Ottawa. It's -5C here, so Lugano weather won't be an issue for me.
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Old 15.01.2007, 09:18
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Re: Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons

I would not use the word "sad" when referring to Lugano

For shopping, get yourself over the border into Italy. By far a nicer experience. You'll need a car, of course.

There are many many Americans and Canadians in Lugano. Where do you think the kids come from that go to the American school?
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Old 21.02.2007, 17:43
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Re: Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons




http://www.rtsi.ch/meteo/popwebcampl...U&luogo=Lugano
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Old 21.02.2007, 17:48
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Re: Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons

a crane?

there are cranes all over Switzerland. This looks like the one serving the development near the railway station.

How do you think building happens here?
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Old 21.02.2007, 17:49
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Re: Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons

Click on the link, it's more interesting in there.
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Old 21.02.2007, 18:54
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Re: Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons

The Lugano webcam above must be far towards the south of the train station, Paradiso most likely.
Here is another one from Menaggio, near Lugano towards Lago di Como (real time).



http://www.lumin.it/meteo/webcam.html
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Old 22.02.2007, 15:49
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Re: Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons

Lugano, Mt San Salvatore.

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Old 27.11.2007, 19:36
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Re: Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons

Hi, my husband myself and two small children moved to Lugano 4 months ago from the UK. It is hard to believe that it has only been 4 months it seems so much longer. I just love the culture and friendly people. When we moved here we could not speak any Italian at all and have relied on the good faith of our neighbours and the locals. We do have a tutor now.

I do miss English food terribly and also take aways very much - it is really hard to find any here. There is any Indian restaurant in Como I believe.

The best place is to use as many forums such as these to help you
People are so kind and helpful on them.

My advice is to give yourself time but also just keep asking -I was a real pest on the forums when I started.

We do have a UK sky TV service though which is great and I am happy to pass on details of how to get this

I did read a good tip though and it is something I am happy to pass - it was when I was moaning about missing my UK food when shopping - someone said "stop shopping for the same items you buy in the UK - browse and enjoy the food here then go home and try new recipes" . In a way I use this to help me adjust here - stop looking for English things and use the Swizz things to your advantage - if this makes sense. Allow the culture to embrace you !

Also a real must is the hotel and restaurant Della Posta in Morcote - in the warmer months - we eat there all the time and the food is superb. We also stayed there whilst we were relocating - clean / moderate accomodation and great prices - esp. to put guests up.

The forums have helped me with so many aspects such as health care etc
Best of luck

Caroline

www.expatcounselling.com

Last edited by Tubbies-Mummy; 27.11.2007 at 19:37. Reason: forgot add the children !! lol !!!
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Old 28.11.2007, 08:46
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Re: Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons

Quote:
View Post
Whatís the weather like? Is it too gray and rainy as in the north?
Actually there's more rain in Lugano than in Zurich

http://www.klimadiagramme.de/Namerika/ottawa.html
http://www.klimadiagramme.de/Europa/...uerichsma.html
http://www.klimadiagramme.de/Europa/Schweiz/lugano.html
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Old 20.12.2007, 16:07
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Re: Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons

I am entertaining jobs in Lugano. My Wife is Italian. I think we would to live in Italy. Does anyone know if it is possible to commute to Lugano from Italy. If so, where would you reccomend to live in Italy to have a reasonable commute?

Thanks for any feedback.
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Old 06.01.2008, 14:57
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Re: Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons

Hello to all;

I am a student currently studying computer science in Turkey and I'm planning to apply for a masters degree in USI (University of Lugano). The school really fits my needs and looks like there won't be much problems in my enrollment.

Although, I have some concerns about the city. I've seen many pictures and read a lot about Lunano and I ''LOVE'' IT! It's superbly beautiful and it's as small as I want it to be. What I wanna know is how does it feel to be a student in Lugano? It does not seem to be a cheap place to live (especially for a student) I've read that most of Switzerland's celebrities live in Lugano. Can you please (especially students) give me some key prices? I mean for example a cup of coffee in starbucks here is about 5.5 ChF (which is NOT cheap) I would be happy to know some basic prices like:

- a cinema ticket
- a 330 ml Coca-Cola
- a bus ticket
- a menu in McDonald's or Burger King
- a Beer in a bar or pub

I also want to know about the accommodation issue, I'm afraid the unisi website is not very helpful. Does the school have a dorm? Do student live in regular apartments or in student homes (I know there's something like that but I don't know what it's called).

What I wanna know actually is how much money does a student in Lugano need for one month?

I also want to know about the Job opportunities in Lugano. Is it easy to find a student job like being a waiter or bartender? Does it affect success in school? My mom and dad visited Lugano this summer and my dad says it seems like most people work in Milano. I really like to spend the rest of my life in Lugano. I know it may not be easy for a foreigner like me (work permit, etc.). As I mentioned before I will be working in Informatics (IT)

I would be grateful if you can answer some of my questions.
Cheers.
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Old 06.01.2008, 15:48
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Re: Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons

Hi.
I am a luganese now working in Zurich so I can say a couple of things about Lugano (in random order)
- there is a Indian Resturant in Lugano. It's called King Coconut. It should be in Viganello
- Cinema prices: 10 on monday, 12 with a special card and 15 on friday/saturday (main show only)
- Coca-cola : 3.30-3.80
- Bus: 1.60 single (if I remember correctly..I don't use it so much.Lugano is not that big)
- McDonald: I think around 10.-
- a beer costs more or less the same as a Coke (for a 3dl beer)
- accomodation: I know only www.castalia.ch for that.
- you can easily find a job at McDonalds or at some reastaurant, but forget a job in IT


I read somewhere that Ticino (and Lugano) has something special about climate because it's closed in valleys. You can easily notice that if you go from Zurich to Milan by train. In the German part of Switzerland you can have fog,rain and cold weather; then when you enter Ticino you'll see sun and warm weather. Then when you go in the "pianura padana" you get the fog again.

Speaking about people, it's true that Luganesi are not as open as italians. We are just in the middle between the somewhat boring swiss germans and the too much outgoing italians .
We are in no way similar to Californian, that's for sure. Try to speak with a stranger in a bar and you'll see the difference. (This is one of the reason a lot of ticinesi men marry foreign women.)

About prices, a lot of ticinesi goes to Italy for shopping, especially for food, since electronics is more expensive there (because of the taxes mainly).
I usually suggest to go to Como on weekends to have fun on that beautiful city (ask Geoge Clooney) and to go shopping on the big supermarket there (Bennet for example, wich is easy to reach even when there are kilometers of queues at the customs (hint: Pizzamiglio )

About irish pub, Lugano has more than 300 bars but unfortunately they all look more or less the same. No irish pub. There was an irish pub in Locarno but it had to close. Ticinesi don't go out often during weekdays


Feel free to PM me if you need some more info.
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Old 19.02.2008, 23:43
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Re: Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons

There is an Irish pub its in Tesserette just outside the city, where they have musicians playing. Another thing, we live in Como but prefer to shop at co-op in Switzerland at serfontana were you can get a wider range of things and more international food products than in Italy.Como has some nightlife but its not much bigger than Lugano. Theres a nightclub and resturant called Paradiso just outside lugano that has an amazing veiw over the city and Lake.
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