Today it was time to move on again, this time to the town of Lugano. Our Ticino passes entitle us to free use of public transport in the canton, and so we were just able to swipe them at the ticket machine and receive a free travel pass for the day. If we hadn’t had the Ticino cards, the ticket would have cost us CHF 15, so together with the CHF 72 which we ‘spent’ yesterday, we have now officially got value for money out of the passes and anything we do tomorrow is free 🙂
There aren’t any direct trains between Locarno and Lugano, but you can travel between the two towns quite easily on the S-Bahn, changing at a little place called Giubiasco. The journey was beautiful and we joked that it was almost as scenic as the Centovalli train, because the S-Bahn had windows almost as big as the panoramic carriages. As we left Locarno behind and got closer to Lugano, the landscape became a bit less mountainous and more hilly. It was still beautiful though, and the weather continues to be glorious.
I had chosen the cheapest hotel I could find, which had the added bonus of being a few hundred metres away from the train station. We checked in, and the room was perfectly nice. What I hadn’t realised though is that the centre of Lugano is itself built on a hill, which we were a good distance up. So although we have a nice downhill stroll to the town centre and the lake, walking back to the hotel is a bit more strenuous!
For context, this is an example of one of the main streets in the pedestrianised bit of central Lugano.
As we walked down from our hotel to the main town, this was our first glimpse of Lake Lugano 🙂
We spent the afternoon exploring the town centre. This is the cathedral of San Lorenzo.
The main square was brightly coloured, reminiscent of Locarno…
…while some of the streets with porticos reminded us of Bologna.
There were pretty fountains…
…some weird sculptures…
…and lots of churches, all of which were busy ringing bells today for Corpus Christi.
As you can see from the slideshow, a lot of the town was very attractive but it also felt a lot less peaceful than Locarno. The roads were busier, there seemed to be more tourists and the prices are a bit more expensive. Many of the streets were lined with designer shops, investment banks and even auction houses. It feels a bit less like a place people actually live and a bit more like a place where rich people come on holiday.
Town aside, the real reason we had come to Lugano was to see the lake.
As in Locarno, there was a nice pathway stretching around the lake and so we were able to stroll for quite a while, admiring the views. We also found a lovely park along the lakeside.
Although it was evening by this point, it still felt like it was over 30 degrees. We stopped for spaghetti bolognaise at a nice restaurant before starting the long trek back up to our hotel!