Last week a dear friend was in Milan for work, so on Saturday we decided to leave the busy city and head to Lugano, Switzerland. This was great for something new for all of us to see and gave my friend a chance to relax a bit after her hectic week. It may have been a combination of good company and a beautiful backdrop, but it was a really fun day. Four girls, a one hour train ride and a lot of laughs equals a perfect day in Europe.
Lugano is in the southern part of Switzerland in the Ticino canton and lies on Lake Lugano. This is the Italian part of Switzerland, so although you are in Switzerland there is an Italian flair. You definitely can tell you are not in Italy anymore upon arriving – this could be the higher prices or the organization.
Reading up on Lugano it does warn that it can be boring, but after a couple of spritzers and mojitos, anywhere can be fun. But we didn’t go for the party. It was exactly what we were looking for – a day to relax, sightsee and catch up. Lugano is beautiful. From the scenic mountains to being on the lake, it was worth the trip.
We decided to take a boat ride along the lake which probably wasn’t worth €27, but worth the €16 that the boat worker gave us a deal on. She knew how to hustle, that’s for sure. She recommended we get off at Grandia and informed us it is a small fishing village where no cars are allowed and told us to have lunch there. Being the tourists we are, we took her advice. Yes, the view was wonderful, but there isn’t much to see once off the boat. The only option you do have is to eat. The prices were a little high (which we expected anyways), but we fell right into a tourist trap. Another tourist kept asking people, “is this it?” Yes, buddy, this is it. Lesson learned. If you ever find yourself in Lugano it is probably best to grab lunch in Lugano where there are more options, or if you do get off, walk the trail back to Lugano instead of waiting an hour for the boat to come back.
The streets are adorned with high-end shopping – Gucci, Versace and Bvlgari are just a few. I can see why they call it the Monte Carlo of Switzerland.