Beside the scenic lake taking its name, Lugano is the pride of the Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland.
Originally settled as long ago as the 4th century BC, the city began developing into today’s Lugano during the 16th century, with increased economic wealth and the beginnings of an Italo-Swiss personality.
While a lakeside stroll is always a temptation, Lugano is a hardworking town. It’s third, behind Zürich and Geneva, as a center for Swiss banking, and the winding lanes and back alleys bustle with commerce.
Indeed, it’s a great town for shopping, too; even the “fashionistas” from Milan come to do a little shopping – and enjoy a lakeside cocktail and a good meal.
There are shops of every kind, selling everything from from luxury articles to antiques, souvenirs, handcrafts, and ,especially, regional gastronomical specialties.
There are also cultural sights, including excellent art galleries and ancient churches. Built by Franciscans during the 15th century, the Church of Santa Maria degli Angioli boasts an amazingly large fresco, the Passion of Christ by Bernardino Luini.