The tourist office is open from November until March as follows: Monday - Friday 9 am till 12 am and 2 pm till 5.30 pm and on Saturday from 10 am till 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm till 5 pm. They have a container by the door with free maps when they are closed (provided they haven't run out). The tourist office has longer opening times in summer.
Location: Riva Albertolli street in the Palazzo Civico
The website is www.lugano-tourism.ch
Below few words in Italian that you can use while visiting Switzerland.
Waiter / Waitress! - Cameriere/ Cameriera, per favore!
May I have the menu, please? - Potrei avere il menu, per favore?
Do you have a set menu / local specialities? - Avete un menu fisso/ delle specialità locali?
What do you recommend? - Cosa mi raccomanderebbe?
Do you have vegetarian dishes? - Avete dei piatti vegetariani?
bread - pane
butter - burro
cheese - formaggio
coffee - caffè
cream - panna (montata)
ice cream - gelato
lemon - limone
milk - latte
mineral water - acqua minerale
mustard - senape
pepper - pepe
salad - insalata
salt - sale
sugar - zucchero
tea - tè
yes/no - si/ no
please / thank you - per favore/ grazie
good morning - Buongiorno
good afternoon - Buon pomeriggio
good evening - Buona sera
good night - Buona notte
good-bye - Arrivederci
excuse me - mi scusi
you're welcome - prego
how long / how far - per quanto tempo/ quanto è lontano
yesterday / today / tomorrow - ieri/ oggi/ domani
day / week / month / year - giorno/ settimana/ mese / anno
left / right - sinistra/ destra
up / down - su/ giù
good / bad - buono/ cattivo
big / small - grande/ piccolo
cheap / expensive - economico/ caro
hot / cold - caldo/ freddo
open / closed - aperto / chiuso
free/ occupied - libero / occupato
early / late - presto/ tardi
Does anyone here speak English? - Qualcuno qui parla inglese?
I don't speak (much) Italian. - Non parlo l'italiano/ molto italiano.
Could you repeat that? - Per favore, potrebbe ripetere?
Could you spell it? - Per favore, potrebbe fare lo spelling?
Can you translate this for me / us? - Potrebbe tradurre questo per me/ per noi?
What does this mean? - Che cosa vuol dire?
I don't understand. - Non capisco.
How much is that? - Quanto costa?
Does this bus / train stop at ... ? - Questo autobus/treno ferma a...?
Monday - lunedì
Tuesday - martedì
Wednesday - mercoledì
Thursday - giovedì
Friday - venerdì
Saturday - sabato
Sunday - domenica
The most common European emergency number 112 (following Directive 2002/22/EC: Universal Service Directive) and also standard on GSM mobile phones. 112 is used in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom in addition to their other emergency numbers.
Here are some useful phone numbers that you might need while in Switzerland:
Road emergency: 140
Psychological support (free and anonymous): 143
Psychological support for teens and children (free and anonymous): 147
Helicopter air-rescue (Rega): 1414 or by radio on 161.300 MHz
Air rescue (Air Glaciers) (in Valais only): 1415
Favorite thing: I wish I could tell you more about these guys. We found them seemingly quite content on top of Monte Brè. I suppose they are working stiffs, providing excursions for tourist who are better at going down than coming up (a solid understanding of my personal capabilities helps makes these assumptions possible). In any event, a city boy like me doesn't often get see a donkey.
Favorite thing: Lugano is a small town and the centre is very compact, so you can easily walk it. Start from Piazza Cioccaro where the funicular arrives. Walk into the old town passing by the little veggie market and then go right: you'll find yourself under the arcades of the fashionable via Nassa (highlight: the prices of the jewellery shops) - walk until the end - and you'll find a unassuming church: Chiesa degli Angeli. Ugly outside and decarated with amazing frescos inside: it's worth a long stop. As you leave the church go back in the same direction where you came from, but along the lake until you reach the town's park: Parco Ciani. Right outside the park there's a wooden structure - realy nice at night when lit up - it's to commemorate a local architect: Francesco Borromini, who built a lot of churches in Rome. The park is nice to stroll about and there's a villa in the middle with interesting art exhibits. leave the park from the entrance in front of the villa and cross over the road - and go across the modern (and tiny) Quartiere Maghetti. When you come out you should be in front of the Museum of Modern Art - they normally have really great exhibits too - and if you keep walking straight after a while you'll end up in a large square: piazza Riforma, the main square... there's several cafés there to sit down and relax. And behind piazza Riforma, there's the place where you started your walk from: Piazza Cioccaro
Geography for 20 points. Where am I? The climate is Mediterranean, the people open, carefree and passionate. The trains are never late, the gardens immaculate, and everything is in its place. Italy? Switzerland? I’ll pay either.
The atlas says Lugano is in Switzerland but, as the name suggests, this picture-postcard paradise clings to its Italian roots. 8% of Switzerland call Italian their native language and live mostly in the south-central district of Ticino, separated from Italy by palm-tree studded lakes and the Alp’s lush foothills. Ticino belonged to pre-Italian states until the Swiss took it over in 1512, and it’s been part of Switzerland ever since.
Fondest memory: The idea of Italian dining, balmy climate and breathtaking scenery combined with Swiss precision and order is irresistible, yet somehow puzzling. A bit like enjoying fantastic pasta without getting sauce down your front.
Lugano is irresistible – a slice of Italy in Switzerland. We stopped for a look and stayed four days. Here are four reasons why.
Hillsides and valleys of colour sprinkled with cool forests, an occasional village of old stone houses and picturesque waterfront frescoed resort-towns. All this, backed by distant snow-capped peaks under a Mediterranean sun that won’t quit. That’s what you can expect if you’re out for a walk around Lugano.
Dozens of footpaths cross the countryside and it’s easy to design your own walks, visiting places of interest and finishing in beautiful lakeside towns where you can catch a boat back to Lugano.
Fondest memory: Here are two sensational walks we did, and you can get more ideas from the Tourist Office:
1. Take a funicular to the top of San Salvatore, then follow any of the trails down the mountain through the villages of Ciona, Carona and Torello to the beautiful resort of Morcote. Allow four hours. Boats back to Lugano take an hour.
2. Explore Lugano’s Civic Park and the Lido before heading down Via Riviera to Castagnola and the start of the waterfront walk to Gandria. Allow two hours. Boats back to Lugano take 30 minutes.
Lugano's tourist information centre is located in a very pretty building close to the lakefront. This was our first stop when we had arrived in Lugano, and we got a free map which was very good: It displayed the whole area of Lugano and its different parts, and also some short information about different things to see and do.
Address: Riva Albertolli
Direcions: Close to the lakefront
When you are eating something outside, don't be sourprised if a bird comes really close to you, they are used to people and sometimes they even try to steal your food.
But is can also be funny to feed them, specially the little one, that wil try to catch what you have for them on the fly.
It is always better to be informed about road conditions.
So for this reason here's a website that wil tell you every Swiss tunnel and mountain pass status, open or closed.
My favourite thing to do in Lugano is to take a leisurely stroll along the lakeside promenade.
Fondest memory: My favourite memory of Lugano is being able to wander around taking photographs without the fear of being bothered by anyone. As a single traveller, this can be a problem in many other places.
If you are visiting Lugano, stop in and request the
"Guest Book" as it gives discounts to many places you would want to visit.
Palazzo Civico-Riva Albertolli
phone: +41 091 913 32 32
fax: +41 091 922 76 53
Fondest memory: It is so wonderful to be in the Lake District, as the beautiful views always make me happy. I also love the Italian way of life here in Switzerland.
Women have two choices here depending on the effect they wish to create.
Either look like an American tourist in your t-shirt, jeans and tennis shoes,
dress like the SWISS/ITALIAN women in high heels, make-up, jewelery. Often "the look" is with a cigarette in one hand and a white poddle or another tiny breed in the other.
Fondest memory: I loved the view of Lake Lugano from San Salvador Mountain and from Grandia.
Favorite thing: If you have in mind to come to Lugano you should come during springtime (best from April on) when the flowers are blossoming or during summer when there are several international musical festivals you can enjoy for free.
BUDGET NOTES: Switzerland is expensive, they say. And yes, it can be. But some careful planning in advance, and some comparison shopping on the spot, may save you a lot of money. For example, we stayed in two lake-front hotels, one in Lugano and one in Locarno. The second was about one-third the price of the first --120 Swiss francs per night, including a more than ample breakfast (the Swiss franc is roughly at par with the Canadian dollar) -- and although the room was slightly smaller, it was comfortable, clean and the staff brought a large bowl of fresh fruit each day.
DINING OUT: It is easy to spend 100 Swiss francs on a meal for two, with some wine. Again, watch the menus -- we found one restaurant where a large salad was 15 Swiss francs, but a tomato-and-basil pizza large enough for two was only 12.5 Swiss francs.
MORE INFO: The comfortable weather -- as early as March -- encourages outdoor dining, so buying fruit, pastry and some juice at the markets can allow for adventurous and inexpensive noon-time dining. Travel is easy -- don't bother with a car, use train and bus (they are frequent and on time), and buy a Swiss Rail Pass in Canada before you go -- they are available in a number of flexible formats. For more information, visit http://www.myswitzerland.com or call 011-800-100-200-30.
Fondest memory: MORE INFO: The comfortable weather -- as early as March -- encourages outdoor dining, so buying fruit, pastry and some juice at the markets can allow for adventurous and inexpensive noon-time dining. Travel is easy -- don't bother with a car, use train and bus (they are frequent and on time), and buy a Swiss Rail Pass in Canada before you go -- they are available in a number of flexible formats. For more information, visit http://www.myswitzerland.com or call 011-800-100-200-30.