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Old 08.10.2007, 08:54
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Il bello Ticino!

Buongiorno/Hello everybody!

My wife and I decided to do again a short Euro tour and this time to include Lugano. After some research on accommodation, transportation and sightseeing, we arranged the trip.

We flew from Ottawa, Canada to London. And from London to Malpensa airport, near Milano by Easy Jet. From Malpensa to Lugano there are shuttles for 30 CHF, I believe. Unfortunately, we couldn't find a cheap hotel in Lugano but we found something pretty reasonable nearby in Figino. We stayed for 2 nights at HI (Hostelling International) Figino.


Youth Hostel Figino TI
Via Casoro 2, CH-6918 Figino
Phone: (91) 995 1151
Email: figino@youthhostel.ch

We payed 37.50 CHF per person per night for a private room, which was a good price. Well, the room was basic, just a bed, a small desk with a chair and... that's about it. But, hey for this price, no complaints. The only thing is that, in order to stay there, you have to be a member of this Hostelling Int'l Association or whatever they call it, and it cost us 15 CHF more per person for this membership, but it was still OK.

We also bought 2 Lugano regional passes. 87 CHF each. The pass is valid for three days within a week that you pick or three consecutive days for all public transportation, post buses, boat tours, funiculars, incl. San Salvatore, train discounts, etc. So, considering the prices of all these tours, it was worth the money.


My wife is a photo maniac! She takes pictures of everything! She can easily take 1500 photos within a day! On the other hand, I am a history and language freak and I was smart enough to learn some Italian for a month and a half before we left. I love the Italian language and it was not a problem for me to build up an active vocabulary of 1500 to 2000 words, plus very useful tourist phrases. Once in Ticino, it actually occurred that thanks to my French knowledge, I actually understood a lot more than I thought. This helped us tremendously! We got along only in Italian. My wife was pretty proud with me.

We decided to see as much as we could from Lugano and the surrounding area for our limited time.

The shuttle bus left us at the central railway station (la stazione centrale), which is on a top of a hill and from there we got a funicular to the Old Town down. The old town is absolutely beautiful! Via Nassa is the major commercial street there and around it there are cobble-stone streets with a fruit market, bakeries, souvenirs, pastry shops. We enjoyed it a lot! The town hall on Piazza Riforma is also a very beautiful building. But, unfortunately it was raining, so we went to the hostel/hotel in Figino, using the next post bus.

On the other day, we got the first boat from Figino in the morning, which made a wonderful boat tour around Lake Lugano. We enjoyed all the beautiful places dotted around the lake, such as Paradiso, Castagnola, Melide, Morcote, Brusino, Capolago, Campione d'Italia (which is actually an Italian enclave and it has Italian custom officers at the port), Caprino and finally Lugano! We just loved the place! The town is not big indeed, but it is sooo picturesque! Situated on the lake Lugano amidst green, green mounts! We saw the local famous cathedrals- Cattedrale di San Lorenzo and Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angioli (Saint Mary of the Angels), which are not that impressive and the civic park (Parco Civico or also known as Parco Ciani), which is really very beautiful! From there we went to see the big shopping centre La Grancia. Well, I am not into wasting too much time in stores, but what can I do, when my wife is with me. Actually, I enjoyed it, too because it is a big shopping centre, which has very good prices, including also a big IKEA!

On our way back, we gott off the bus in Paradiso, which is really a walking distance from downtown Lugano and we took the funicular to Monte San Salvatore, which I guess in English is something like Mount Saint Saviour. The view from Monte San Salvatore is absolutely gorgeous!

We were planning to see also the Alprose chocolate factory, the Swiss miniature museum and Monte Bre, but we were so much in love with the beautiful scenery and nice little streets of the old town that we decided to just browse around and enjoy the beauty!

On the other day, we were just about to take the first train to Milan, when the post bus left us on the lakeshore but we saw a boat and since our passes were still valid for a free boat tour, I asked the 2 captains, mi scusi, quando partite? (Excuse me, when are you leaving?) They answered: adesso (now)! And, indeed they left within 2-3 minutes, so we took the opportunity to go and see the beautiful village of Gandria. This was a good reason for my wife to take even more pictures!

We decided to visit Lugano, because we plan to move there and we just wanted to go and see how we'll feel there. We loved it! We love the cozy athmosphere, the stunning beauty of the nature around, the proximity to Milano, the outdoor activities we can do, the super friendly locals, and I, particularly, loved the opportunity to listen to the Italian language! The only two things that we didn't like were the crazy prices of some things, such as meat and the underdeveloped public transportation. Figino is just a few minutes away from downtown Lugano, but there are only post buses that go there every hour and the last bus is 7:26 pm. Actually, my wife is also concerned with the job market, because even if I land a position in Franklin College as I hope, she does not have a lot of options, which might prevent our plans. But, anyway, Lugano left wonderful memories and thousands of pictures to us. I have selected 50-60 photos, which you can see right here:


http://s232.photobucket.com/albums/e...slideshow=true

Enjoy!
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  #2  
Old 08.10.2007, 10:51
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Re: Il bello Ticino!

Thanks for the detailed report, and the nice pics. We always enjoy the atmosphere in Ticino, and there is always lots to see.

If you plan to get by on public transport, then you have to factor in the connection possibilities when choosing a place to live. There are some places that are extremely well connected, but don't expect to find a beautiful place in a secluded village that has excellent public transport.

All the best for you and your wife on your possible move. BTW, Happy thanksgiving!
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Old 08.10.2007, 14:18
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Re: Il bello Ticino!

Glad you enjoyed your stay, despite the bad weather! I was in Mendrisio a few weeks ago and I also like the beautiful scenery of canton Ticino. Your wife shot some nice photos on your tour!
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Old 08.10.2007, 22:58
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Re: Il bello Ticino!

We are an American couple who fell in love with Lugano 27 years ago and bought a small apartment in Paradiso 10 years ago. After all of these years, we still love to return to "paradise". I hope you get your teaching assignment. If you need to rent an apartment for 1 or 2 months while you look for your own place to stay, feel free to write me. Our apartment is small (750 sq feet) but very clean and comfortable. It is an approx. 2 minute walk to the train station--next to Parco Paradiso.
Best of luck to you.
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Old 09.10.2007, 00:34
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Re: Il bello Ticino!

Thanks for the good words, guys!

Jgrjgr, thanks for the offer. If I get the job I want, I might contanct you.

Happy Thanksgiving to all Canadians!
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  #6  
Old 10.10.2007, 00:13
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Re: Il bello Ticino!

yeah, lugano is right on, i am from windsor and moved here at the start of august - pm me if you want any info on renting a place. please say that you play hockey and will bring your equipment when you come over. oh, check out locarno and the surrounding area (only 30 minutes away).
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Old 11.10.2007, 07:36
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Re: Il bello Ticino!

Born2run, righ on! I won't leave Canada without a hockey stick! I play as a goalie, though.
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Old 25.10.2007, 12:41
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Re: Il bello Ticino!

Born2run,

Do you play hockey here in Lugano? I know some people in the lugano field hockey team here and went to one of their games last week. One guy just moved here a month ago from Canada. He used to play for their international team.

how are you liking Lugano? I just moved here 2 months ago from Los Angeles for a career change (film industry to banking industry...ha, go figure). I loving it here!

ciao,
Cecilia
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Old 02.12.2007, 16:50
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Re: Il bello Ticino!

Quote:
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yeah, lugano is right on, i am from windsor and moved here at the start of august - pm me if you want any info on renting a place. please say that you play hockey and will bring your equipment when you come over. oh, check out locarno and the surrounding area (only 30 minutes away).
If you can give any information on renting - what can you get for CHF4,000 per month.
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Old 11.03.2009, 18:09
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Re: Il bello Ticino!

Quote:
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We are an American couple who fell in love with Lugano 27 years ago and bought a small apartment in Paradiso 10 years ago. After all of these years, we still love to return to "paradise". I hope you get your teaching assignment. If you need to rent an apartment for 1 or 2 months while you look for your own place to stay, feel free to write me. Our apartment is small (750 sq feet) but very clean and comfortable. It is an approx. 2 minute walk to the train station--next to Parco Paradiso.
Best of luck to you.
I wonder whether your apartment might be available for the month of June 2009. I am a retiredsingle Swiss/American professional who is looking for a place at that time.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

L.Soifer
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Old 11.03.2009, 18:23
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Re: Il bello Ticino!

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I wonder whether your apartment might be available for the month of June 2009. I am a retiredsingle Swiss/American professional who is looking for a place at that time.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

L.Soifer
jgrjgr hasn't been online for eight months. Click the name above his post, a menu will pop up. Select the option to send a private message or an email and maybe you're lucky!
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Old 20.07.2009, 14:23
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Re: Il bel Ticino!

Cerco casa da affittare per 2 mesi dal 9 sett al 9 nov a gandria per me ed i miei ben educati bambini! suggerimenti??
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