Set in a valley between two mountains, Lugano (pop. 114,000) draws plenty of visitors with its seamless blend of religious beauty, artistic flair, and natural spectacle. The frescoes of the 16th-century Cattedrale San Lorenzo, just south of the train station, are still vivid despite their advanced age. The most spectacular fresco in town, however, is the gargantuan Crucifixion in the Chiesa Santa Maria degli Angiuli, to the right of the tourist office. Armed with topographic maps and trail guides (sold at the tourist office), hikers can tackle the nearby mountains, Monte

Bre (933m) and Monte San Salvatore (912m), or the more rewarding Monte Boglio (5hr.). Alpine guides at the ASBEST Adventure Company, V. Basilea 28 (966 11 14), offer everything from snowshoeing and skiing (full-day 90SFr) to paragliding (170SFr) and canyoning (from 90SFr).

Trains leave P. della Stazione for: Locarno (lhr. every 30min. 5:30am-midnight, 17SFr); Milan (45min. every hr. 7am-9:45pm, 21SFr); and Zurich (3hr. 1-2 per hr. 6am-8:35pm, 60SFr). The tourist office is across from the ferry station at the comer of Rezzonico. (‘-a 913 32 32. Open July-Aug. M-F 9am-7:30pm, Sa 9am-10pm, Su 10am-4pm; Apr.-May and Sept.-Oct. M-F 9am-7:30pm, Sa 9am-5:30pm, Su 10am-4pm; Nov.-Mar. M-F 9am-12:30pm and l:30-5pm.) EfHotel Montarina , Via Monta-rina 1, is a palm-tree-enveloped hostel with a swimming pool, kitchen, and terrace. (966 72 72. Sheets 4SFr. Laundry 4SFr. Reception daily 8am-10pm. Open Mar.-Oct. Dorms 25SFr; singles 70-80SFr; doubles lOOSFr, with bath 120SFr.) The Migros supermarket, Via Pretoria 15, also has a food court. (Open M-W and F 8am-6:30pm, Th 8am-9pm, Sa 7:30am-5pm.) Postal Code: CH-6900.

LUGANO Photo Gallery

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