Top Views of Lake Lugano
from Monte San Salvatore
There are so many places in Switzerland where you can get fabulous views, but one of the places with some of the most stunning views has got to be Monte San Salvatore in Lugano. They really are stupendous!
As C. C. Lorenz Hirschfeld said of the amazing perspective “You need to have been up there in person, if you want to get an idea of its greatness and magnificence, and then that moment will become one of the most beautiful and unforgettable experiences in your whole life.”
According to legend the Son of God stopped on Monte San Salvatore on his way to heaven, inspiring pilgrims to climb the mountain on foot to pay their respects.
However, since 1890 a funicular has been in place to help with the 600 metre ascent from Lugano Paradiso to the summit.
From Lugano Paradiso you take 2 consecutive funicular trains, you simply change at the Pazzallo middle station where the next funicular will be waiting. When you alight there is a good viewpoint over Lake Lugano and the Vetta San Salvatore Restaurant where you can stop for a coffee or lunch.
We had a lovely lunch, eating al fresco in the warm Spring sunshine as we took in the panoramic views. However, to get the best views you need to walk a little further to the top.
As you walk up there is a series of vintage posters featuring of Lugano Tourism posters which form part of a permanent outdoor exhibition and which line the route.
In what used to be a 17th Century hospice, there is now the San Salvatore Museum housing a collection of precious works of art and objects dating back over the years. The top floor of the museum is all about geology – rocks, minerals and fossils etc as well as information and research relating to storms and lightning.
At the summit there is a little chapel with a Capodoro terrace on the roof offering the most amazing 360 degree views you can imagine.
If you stay a while you will see how the light changes and reflects across the lake. It’s truly mesmerising. We went up thinking we would stay around the top for half an hour, but it was such a lovely place to explore and take photographs that we stayed over two hours!
During that time the Spring weather changed from sunny to overcast to very cloudy and back to sunshine again; and as it did so the views changed colour too. As well as views across Lake Lugano, you can see the Lombardy plain, the beautiful mountain ranges of the Swiss and Savoy Alps and far across southern Ticino; it is truly spectacular!
Hiking and More
There are a number of hiking trails. From the mid station of Pazzallo there is also a challenging “via ferrata”, or you may prefer to visit the azalea gardens, Parco San Grato in Carona, or maybe undertake the notorious three-hour ridge hike to Morcote, one of the prettiest villages in Switzerland.
The Village of Morcote in Ticino
Whatever you decide upon, you cannot deny the true beauty of Monte San Salvatore and you can understand why it has such a wonderful reputation for its views.
Funicolare Lugano Paradiso
Address: Via delle Sculoe 7, 6902 Lugano
Tel: +41 91 985 28 28
Open: The funicular is located a little bit inland from Lugano Paradiso and leaves every 30 minutes, morning till late evening from mid-March to the beginning of November.
Height of Monte San Salvatore: 912m
Google Map of Monte San Salvatore:
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