Lugano is a popular tourist destination in the Canton of Ticino, the only overwhelmingly Italian-speaking state on the Swiss territory. Known as the small Italy in Switzerland, it attracts numerous travelers every year from both home and abroad for its warm climate and Italian flavor.
While working in Geneva last summer, I traveled to Lugano on a long weekend with a Swiss friend. Like almost all major cities in Switzerland, there is a big lake beside it. However, Lake of Lugano is quite different from other lakes in that it has got a very irregular shape and this odd yet beautiful emerald colour. A cruise on the lake on a fine day can be a fantastic experience. It should be noted however that the Swiss Pass is not valid for the cruise because, unlike other lakes, the navigation system on Lake of Lugano is operated by a private company. A number of small towns and villages scatter around the lake and they are worth visiting as well.
A typical hillside town, Lugano is situated to the northwest of the lake. A cable car, as part of the local public transportation system, connects the downtown at the foot of the hill and the train station in the midlevel. Not far from the city centre are three 2000-metre peaks, Bré, St. Salvatore and St. Giorgio. We chose to climb St. Giorgio because it is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. To get there, we first took the ferry, then a cable car, and finally we had to walk for 2 hours in the forest. It was easy to get lost in the forest since the trail to the peak was not easily identifiable. Thanks to my Swiss friend, I climbed to the very top of the peak without much difficulty.
When we reached the peak, the first thing that caught our eye was a stone hut where travelers can take a rest and buy bottled water and simple food. There was no shop assistant. Prices were posted on the wall. I wondered who took the food up there. It amazed me because obviously transporting anything up there was no easy task. What was more amazing, however, was the views behind the stone hut! I was speechless when I saw the winding green lake surrounded by the endless panorama of mountains. What could I do except pressing the shutter of my Holga and LC-A like crazy? How I wish then I had a Horizon in my hands!