Lugano is a good base for hiking. Ticino in general is ideal for those who want to hike early in the season, as the weather is considerably milder south of the alps. The long and scenic hike we took was to Alpe Bolla, a very beautiful grotto deep in the woods outside Lugano.
Hike or take the funicular up to Monte San Salvatore. Photo: A view of Lake Lugano and Campione D'Italia from the top, June 2000.
Campione D'Italia is really a part of Italy - it's like a forgotten island surrounded by Switzerland. If you go there, it's not immediately obvious that you're in another country. There are no border formalities and the cars have Swiss plates. But there are small differences such as the post and police are Italian. The main difference here is the gambling laws. There are none of the strict Swiss restrictions so visitors come by the bus load from Lugano.
The funicular goes up from Paradiso, a suburb to the south. It's only a few miles to walk to Paridiso, but we took a bus as we were doing a longer hike from the top and wanted to save time. From the top you get a great perspective of the meandering contours of the lake. If you're hiking back down to Paridiso it takes a little over an hour.
From Riverra take the Cable car to Alpe Foppa-the cable amazingly goes over a four lane motorway !!-a heart stopping experience.
Once at Alpe Foppa there is a magnificent viewpoint built out of the mountain-see picture.
You then can hike up from this spot at 1530 metres to the top of Monte Tamaro at 1961 metres,it is one hour of steep uphill hiking.
then it gets quite flat and you can spend aday walking along to Monte Lima along the rigdeline,the views are splendid and there is another cable car at Mount Lime to return you back down into the valley at a place called Migieglia. From there I hitch-hiked back to Lugano