Lugano, Switzerland

Monday, September 17, 2018
Lugano, Ticino, Switzerland
Sue and I spent our final three days in the Swiss town of Lugano, a town on the shores of Lake Lugano, and about 30 kms from the Italian border. The region is more Italian than Swiss with Italian the main language spoken and Italian food in the restaurants.  It is the third banking city in Switzerland as well as a tourist destination so the main area is full of every luxury brand money can buy, not our money though. The lakefront promenade is popular with locals and looks across the lake to spectacular rugged mountains. In the centre of town, life revolves around Piazza Riforma which has a number of restaurants, entertainment and shops.
One of our trips from Lugano was to Fox Town, which is supposed to be an outlet mall but is nothing like those in the US and some other parts of Europe. All the major brands are represented but its no bargain centre. We spent a couple of hours looking but not finding and so decided to drive around part of Lake Lugano finishing in the small lakeside town of Porlezza in Italy where we had lunch. We crossed the border between Italy and Switzerland at least 6 times and were not stopped once.
Our final day in Europe, started by exploring more of Lugano but as it was Sunday, everything was of course closed. So we caught the train to Bellinzona, a thirty minute ride. The town is famous for its three castles that are UNESCO World Heritage listed. There are fortifications on the hillside where Castlegrande stands dating back to the 1st century BC, and a castle like structure was first mentioned in 590. It has since been added to many times and a lot of the castle has recently been restored to include a museum and a restaurant. On display in the museum are the original drawings used for the restoration. The other castle we visited was Montebello which is on the side of a hill overlooking the town and dates from the 14th century. It’s main protection was a deep moat which is now empty. There is a museum and a gift shop and a walk along the wall gives a great view of the town back across to Castlegrande. The third one is Sasso Corbaro built high on a rocky hill overlooking the town and dating from 1478. We didn’t get there as it was getting late nor did we have the energy to climb up the rock to the castle.
We caught the train back to Lugano and had a lovely final meal for this trip at Ristorante Commercio in Lugano. Next morning we drove to Malpensa Airport (about 70 mins) and boarded our Singapore Airlines flight back to Australia.
This blog cannot be finished without mentioning Singapore Airlines which has a reputation as one of the best in the World. We have now flown on it four times in Business class, in a word, DISAPPOINTING!! The seats are great but when they are made into the beds the way they do it, very uncomfortable especially for someone Renze’s size. The service is good and the food OK but we have had better.