Living Well in Lugano

^^ gorgeous Magnolia blossoms near the train station, welcome spring!! 

In accordance with trying to impart all of my senior year wisdom to the next generation of Franklin students before I graduate, this post is all about 'how to live in Lugano and LOVE it!' It is one part a collection of my favorite places in & around town, and one part tips for living well in Lugano! 

First, the places: 

SORENGO & MONTAGNOLA (Our Neighborhood)

-- The Monastery / There is a beautiful monastery above the New Building and Giardino dorms that is easily accessible to students. You can either take the stone stairs by the Giardino dorm (behind Giardino, on the back path between the Giardino dorm and New Building, not via Ponte Tresa) OR if you are taking the back path to North Campus from the New Building residence just turn left at the elementary school instead of right and you will reach the monastery. It offers a perfect bench to take in the view. 

-- Laghetto trail / I believe that being active is an important part of maintaining a balanced student life. We are lucky at FUS to have a beautiful running path close to campus. I love going for a jog on this path around Laghetto (meaning 'little lake' in Italian, not' the ghetto'!) It's scenic, doesn't have too many hills and I often see horses while I'm running, which is an added plus! To get to the trailhead just walk past the Giardino dorm on via Ponte Tresa (heading west) and then follow the hill down when it takes a sharp S curve down towards the lake, you can't miss it! 

-- Church Sant'Abbondio / This beautiful 13th century church is just a 15min walk uphill from campus in the neighborhood of Montagnola. Simply walk to the Giardino dorm, cross the road using the underground tunnel, and then continue uphill on Via Sant'Abbondio and the road will lead you right to the church. 
Also worth checking out: Nobel Prize winning German author Hermann Hesse is buried in the cemetery across the street.   

LUGANO (all the beautiful sights in the city!) 

-- The Lugano Art & Culture (LAC) center / this brand new building was opened this last September and hosts both art exhibits and has a concert hall for theatrical events. It's a beautiful space and worth checking out! 

-- There also is a beautiful church right next door to LAC with a large fresco. 

-- Lago di Lugano / The lake is in many ways the pearl of Lugano and there is nothing better than renting a paddle boat for an hour on a sunny day and soaking in some sun while exploring the lake. If you walk along the lake front you also will find a variety of boat cruises offered between Lugano and Italy as well as the Gandria (a neighboring village along the shore).

-- Parco Civico / this beautiful green park is a great place to go for a walk along Lake Lugano and see some beautiful flowers. There also is a playground, a small beach and and lots of families feeding the ducks.  

-- Newspaper tunnel / this tunnel has been around since my freshmen year, but new figures are always popping up on the walls, so it still feels fresh and exciting and makes my walk downtown a little more exciting! 

Last but not least, 
-- Lugano / wandering through the city center is a sight in itself! And definitely a must do in Lugano! Whether you are a visitor or a student it can be fun to explore a new cobblestone nook you haven't ventured down yet. You never know what you might find!  


-- Podcasts / books on tape for walking to get groceries or traveling for long hours are a life saver! It makes the time feel useful and enjoyable. Sometimes it's nice to be alone with my thoughts, but other times I truly look forward to getting out the door for the 15min walk downtown just so that I can get some quick fresh air and "read" my book. I use (and love!) Audible, but you can also usually checkout electronic audio books from your local library for free over the internet! Books I've listened to this semester: Les Miserables (60+ hours!), I am Malala, and The Happiness Project. Podcasts I love: Freakanomics, Serial, and This American Life.  

— Sign up for the cumulus card at Migros. Just go to the service desk by the shopping carts at the entrance to the grocery store section of Migros and tell them you want to sign up. It is free (all you need is to give them your name and address) and Migros will send you the card. Then if you swipe it everytime you get groceries you rack up points, and for every x number of points Migros will mail you a 5chf off coupon for your next purchase. Easy way to save a little money while grocery shopping, and it really adds up over a semester, let alone 4 years! 

— I've found that, in Lugano, Migros overall has the best price for groceries, and usually their selection and quality is totally fine for me, but I've learned that Manor does have some treasures, like chocolate chip cookie dough and Ben & Jerrys! So I'll make the special effort to go there every so often and stock up. Also the Ben & Jerrys at Manor is only 9chf a pint unlike the 13chf pints at the Tamoil gas station (by Franklin's main campus). Plus they have a few more flavors to choose from! 
--  Manor is also my favorite place for fresh baked breads! But get there on the earlier side for better selection, by the end of the shopping day they are usually sold out of the best ones. I love the multigrain bread (pane integrale). 

-- Electronic Media Market is the best place to get any kind of electronic you might need in Lugano for the best selection and price. You can look up things online and they have a store right by the ikea in Grancia which is just a 15min bus ride away from downtown (see my post on transportation) I bought a waffle maker there for 30chf that has saved my life because I have an undying love of waffles and make them seriously 4x a week. 

-- Running around lake lugano instead of laghetto. Con: a little further away from campus. Pros: FLAT, longer (if you're into that kind of thing), plus, you get a gorgeous view!

-- Confession: as a freshman, I got lost more than once trying to find my way to North Campus after our initial tour during Orientation Week, so the road that goes to north campus is your FIRST right (if you are coming from Giardino or New Building).

-- Tips for produce shopping: think seasonal! The stores and markets offer the most of what is in season and fresh! Right now Migros and the other markets are overflowing with delicious, ripe, red strawberries! I've literally bought 2 flats a week for the last 3 weeks. They are so good and on sale because there are so many of them! Before we left for travel, the citrus fruits were in season and I bought a bag of blood oranges a week! Just don't expect to find watermelons in January. 

 And that's a wrap! 

I know over the years I have had to remind myself how fortunate I am to live in this beautiful city. It is easy to take it for granted and forget that Lugano itself is a destination for tourists! So I hope these tips will help some students to remember to explore our own backyard! And also help the next generation adjust to life here a little quicker, so that they can enjoy the best parts of Lugano even more! 



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