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Ticino, the Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland, is famous for its developed network of lifts, which allows travelers to get familiar with amazing alpine landscapes. In our report, we will tell you how to get to the peaks that frame Lake Lugano.
Lake Lugano is located at the foot of the Alps, so to witness its full glory, one should go to the mountains. That is why, the construction of lifts was initiated here in the late 19th century along with the ongoing development of the local tourism. Thanks to funiculars and cable cars the visitors of today can quickly ascend from the city to the mountains, which offer a breathtaking view over Lake Lugano and its surroundings.
For sports enthusiasts, funicular stations are an ideal starting point for exciting hiking or cycling trips. Lovers of nature can find places, unique in terms of floral and faunal diversity. Romantically inclined travelers can have a tasty lunch or dinner on the mountain top while enjoying a beautiful panorama and wonderful wines from Ticino.
For sports enthusiasts, funicular stations are an ideal starting point for exciting hiking or cycling trips, foto © Ticino turismo
The first lift in the South of Lake Lugano is situated on the Monte Generoso mountain, from where one of the most picturesque panoramas of the canton opens. You can get to the top in 40 minutes from Capolago village via a rack railway built in 1890. The road runs through the reserve, reaching a height of 1704 m.
The topmost location offers a magnificent view over the lakes Lugano, Como, Varese and Maggiore, the city of Lugano, the Padan Valley and even Milan, and on a clear day - up to the Apennines and the Alpine Range: from Gran Paradiso to Monte Rosa, from Cervino to Jungfrau, from Saint Gothard to the Bernina Mountains.
Apart from gazing over the stunning panorama, many other entertainments are available: you can visit the observatory and take a tour of the route dedicated to the planets. Nearby is the cave, where you can see the remains of the cave bears extinct for about 20,000 years.
The top of the Monte Generoso mountain can be reached in 40 minutes by train on the crenellated railway, foto © Ticino turismo
Mount Monte-San-Giorgio, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, can be reached by cable car from Brusino Arsizio, located on Lake Lugano. It takes several minites to reach Serpiano, where you can take a hike to see fossils of 250 million years old and enjoy a beautiful view of Lake Lugano.
During the Triassic period, the area was the bottom of the 100 m deep ocean, and even nowadays paleontologists find the remains of huge fossilized fish and sea lizards here. The town of Merida on the slope of Monte San Giorgio harbors a very interesting paleontological museum, which can be reached by car.
Mount Monte San Giorgio - a real paradise for fans of paleontology, foto © Ticino turismo
Another fascinating route is Mount San-Salvatore (912 m). It is the mountain that rises majestically at the Southern entrance to Lugano. The bell tower of the church, which crowns the mountain top, offers a magnificent panorama of the whole region: the Lombardy Valley, solemnly framed by the Swiss and Savoy Alps. The top can be reached from Paradiso in 12 minutes by the famous cable car with a maximum slope of 60% built in 1890.
In the south of Lugano stands San Salvatore mountain, the symbol of the city, foto ©Ticino turismo
In the North of Lugano stands Mount Monte Bret, also very popular among tourists. The funicular, which has been operating since 1912, takes you from Cassarate to the top of Bres (933 m) in 15 minutes. Here you can choose an entertainment to any taste, from active pastime to silent contemplation, from walks for families with small children to more challenging hikes to the mountains. Monte Bre is considered to be the sunniest mountain in Switzerland.
Guilia Cassoni, Ticino, Switzerland