I ventured south this weekend to the Ticino, the southernmost canton in Switzerland.  This Swiss “Italian district” shares a direct border with Italy and derives influences from northern Italian and Mediterranean lifestyle and culture.  I started the weekend in Lugano, the largest city in the Ticino and de-facto cultural capital of Italian Switzerland.  I enjoyed the wonderful Ticino climate while cruising along the lake (Lago Lugano), exploring the Lugano old town, and hiking the 912-meter Monte San Salvatore.  I was struck by the Lugano pre-Alps framing the lake and perfect flashes of color along every building throughout the city, providing a distinctly Mediterranean view (and contrast to the Teutonic/Germanic buildings in the northeastern cantons).

Lugano by morning Piazza della Reforma Parco Civico Parco Civico Parco Civico San Salvatore Lago Lugano View from Monte San Salvatore View from Monte San Salvatore

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