Jan 27, 2020 - 3:36 AM
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Is this a real "day trip", one where you will leave Lucerne in the morning and get back to Lucerne the same day ? If so, I wouldn't dilly-dally a couple of your precious hours in Lugano. If you get there on a nice day, the boat ride to Gandria is nice, and the view from the water beside the Gandria dock towards Lugano and Monte San Salvatore is very nice. But I agree with Anna about Morcote, and would go to it if I had to chose only one of these places. And if you have time you can, as 1960man has mentioned, visit the Swiss Miniatur in Melide. Another thing I would highly recommend is a ride up the funicular to the top of Monte San Salvatore. It is easily and quickly reached from Paradiso, directly south of Lugano. Actually, I would recommend the ride to the top of San Salvatore over the visit to Swiss Miniatur.
As for Campione, this is an Italian enclave (completely surrounded by Switzerland) in the Lago di Lugano area which until January 1 of this year operated in a semi-Swiss fashion, even though it is part of Italy. They used Swiss money, had Swiss (Ticino) license plates on their cars, had a VAT which was the same as the Swiss one, had their water purified by the Swiss and even their garbage was picked up by the Swiss. It was not in the EU customs area. So now Campione is in the EU customs area, although a deal has been made to keep the VAT at the same as the Swiss rate (for now). So the heading in The Local that rockoyster links us to, "Switzerland just handed one of its towns back to Italy", is misleading. There was no handing back to Italy, as it was Italian all along. By the way, did you know that its original name was simply Campione, until 1933 when Mussolini added d'Italia to make sure that everybody knew it was part of Italy ?
I attach a map of the area, with red ovals indicating Gandria, Morcote, San Salvatore, and Paradiso. I have shown the location of the Swiss Miniature with a red arrow. It's beside the causeway that crosses the lake. On this map, one can also see Campione d'Italia and the section of the lake that goes along with it.
By the way, I hope you will be able to spend at least one night in the Ticino.