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Lago di Lugano

Spilling over into northern Italy, Lago di Lugano is a sparkling blue expanse at Ticino's southernmost tip, with a real holiday flavour as soon as the weather warms. Less overrun than many of the lakes over the border, it is nevertheless bewitching, whether glimpsed from one of the many trails that wriggle along its shores, from a mountain peak or from the deck of the boats that glide across it.

On clear days, the views are nothing short of riveting, with the pleats of sheer, wooded peaks fading into hazy distance – among them the highest of the high, 1704m Monte Generoso. The villages that cling tightly to its shores and tumble haphazardly down its slopes, such as Gandria, Meride and Morcote, are among Switzerland’s most beguiling, with hidden back alleys, pastel-painted houses and botanical gardens to explore.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Lago di Lugano.