One of the many beautiful Swiss cities. With it's 26'000 inhabitants (and 128'000 in the surrounding territories around it (figures are from 1998)) it is one of the three most populated cities in the Ticino canton.

The city has direct train connections to Milano, Venezia and Zürich - and this makes it a frequent stop for backpackers that find themselves situated 100 metres above a cute little lake (260 m above sea level) with a lot of magnificent steep hills (up to 1000 metres). It also makes it one of the many favourite places for rich old German and Swiss German tourists that stroll around in the steep streets occasionally buying some ice cream and doing some shopping.

In general, the place reminds one of a lot of other sites in the Northern Italian areas of Europe (- except that this is indeed Switzerland - less than 10 kms of distance, but a huge mental one from Italy).
Due to the wealth of the tourists coming to Lugano, fashion shops are all over the place, and muh effort has been put into translating everything into German.

If you stop by, don't miss out on a small boat trip round the lake. Extremely cosy and a nice escape from the general heat level of the valley (>30 degrees Celsius).

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