The region of Ticino in the south of Switzerland combines the punctuality, orderliness and attention to detail that are common among the Swiss with the physical beauty and relaxed pace of the Mediterranean. In particular, the region adopts the qualities of the Italian Mediterranean, as the population is largely Italian-speaking, and the area is spotted with towns and destinations bearing Italian names.
At first glance, the geography and general aesthetic would appear to have much more in common with Veneto than Geneva, but in any case, the combination of national essences is a happy one, making Ticino an excellent place to unwind and relax.
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The main lakeside population center in Ticino is the lovely town of Lugano. Situated on the shores of the lake bearing the same name, Lugano is home to a temperate climate, palm trees and lake views juxtaposed by the dramatic backdrop of the Alps. It’s also a good base from which to explore other towns on the lake, which are accessible by ferry. Note: Many of the towns are actually Italian, so don’t forget your documentation).
A short bus ride from the main railway station in Lugano is a museum dedicated to the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Hermann Hesse (Demian, Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, etc.). You can peruse the holdings, take in a short film about the author and, if you are so inclined, “drink wine from a chalice and contemplate the mystery of the sacrifice” in Hesse’s honor.