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Lago di Lugano

Lake Lugano

Lake Lugano, also called Ceresio, is considered one of the most beautiful of the pre-alpine lakes.
It extends largely in Switzerland, in the Canton Ticino, but the north-east and south-west ends belong respectively to the provinces of Como and Varese.
From the beautiful mountains overlooking the lake, you can enjoy beautiful scenarios and the villages offer a peaceful atmosphere, cultural attractions and wonderful hiking.

Lying on the banks of lake Lugano, Porlezza is a renowned tourist destination, especially in summer, but it is also very popular in spring and in autumn, when the natural frame of the Pre-Alps shows all colours of the rich local flora.
On the lakefront, near the pier, you can find the Tourist Office, with all the information you need to get the most out of your visit.
At this link, you can find information on how to reach it and on accessibility.

Church of San Vittore Martire
Built in the late 1600s, over a former place of worship, it constitutes the religious heart of the Porlezza community. The church is in Baroque style, as the altar, although there are many neo-Renaissance elements.
The church, with three naves, hosts interesting works of art. In the presbytery you can admire some frescoes depicting the episodes of the life of the Saint. The imposing façade dates back to 1840 and to the left of the building stands the tall bell tower, with five different bells.
At this link, you can find information on how to reach it and on accessibility.

Roman church of Santa Marta
The building, dating back to the seventeenth century, was the headquarters of the Confraternity of Santa Marta.
The interior, with a single nave, preserves interesting frescoes and paintings in particular in the presbytery.
At this link, you can find information on how to reach it and on accessibility.

The Tresa river separates Lavena Ponte Tresa from the homonymous village of Ponte Tresa in Switzerland.
The municipality, at the southwestern end of Lake Lugano, consists of the two centres of Lavena and Ponte Tresa, now merged into a single village. Here the lake creates a basin, quiet and isolated, before letting its waters drain into the Tresa river that will lead them to Lake Maggiore.

Parish church of San Pietro e Paolo
At Lavena Ponte Tresa your attention is caught by the Bell tower of the old parish church dedicated to San Pietro e Paolo that stands alone on the lakefront and by the small port of Lavena, the only surviving element of the old parish church demolished in 1960.

Church of the Madonna della Porta
The Church of the Madonna della Porta
, built in the years 1660-70, owes its name to the fact that it is located on the ancient entrance of the village. Inside there is a fresco coming from the parish church, of the late Luinese school (1600-1625) reproducing the Baptism of Christ, an altar from the late 1700s and a seventeenth-century wooden statue depicting the Virgin Mary. In the sacristy you can admire two frescoes of the baroque folk school, dated 1699 and, in the chapel of S. Carlo, another fresco representing St. Charles and St. Joseph.
At this link, you can find information on how to reach it and on accessibility.

Parish church of SS. Crocifisso
The Church of SS: Crocifisso is ​​a building dating back to the 1950s, located in the centre of the village. It houses notable works of modern art, including Bianchini ceramic high reliefs and a Holy Supper by Moscardini.
At this link, you can find information on how to reach it and on accessibility.

At the southernmost point of Lake Lugano, at the end of the valley that from Varese reaches the lake, you can find Porto Ceresio, with its colourful houses between the green of the mountain and the quiet lake. Here it is possible to walk along the lakefront passing by the old houses of the old town and the Liberty villas with their curious decorations and from the pier you can reach the Swiss border, and because it is on the border, the name of the village has always kept the word Porto, as a natural passage to Switzerland but only after the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, the village took the current name of Porto Ceresio
Two hundred meters east of the train station, on the lakeside, you can find the Tourist Office, with  useful information for your visit. 
At this link you can find information on accessibility.

Church of Sant'Ambrogio
The Church of Sant'Ambrogio in Porto Ceresio is located in the centre of the bay.
The parish church was built in 1722 when the separation from the church of Besano took place, with difficulties and tensions between the inhabitants of the two villages. The bell tower, clearly visible from the lake, was built in 1911.

Sanctuary of Maria Ausiliatrice
In Selvapiana, the Sanctuary was built by the inhabitants of Porto Ceresio to thank Maria Ausiliatrice because they believed they had been saved through her intercession by a tragic night of bombing on October 24, 1942. The project, carried out by Mons. Giuseppe Polvara, headmaster of the Beato Angelico School of Milan, is inspired by an ancient Romanesque style church in Civate (Lecco).The church has many frescoes made by Cocquio, a painter from di Varese: Maria ausiliatrice among the Angels,  S. Giovanni Bosco and S. Domenico Savio in the apse.

Former dock rail - Porto Ceresio railway station
At the beginning of the 20th century, the railway line to Varese and the lake was the first line with electric trains in Italy. At that time, once in Porto Ceresio, travellers and goods used to continue their journey by ferry and boats. This is reminded to us by the old rusty pier of the freight yard, where boxes and parcels were transhipped from the railway wagons to the boats. In the 1990s, the freight yards were closed, but the iron transhipment pier was preserved and can be admired, still stretched out in the water, just outside the station.
At this link you can find information on accessibility

The main towns of the lake can also be reached by ferry run by Navigazione del Lago di Lugano. For information, please visit: https://www.lakelugano.ch
The service can welcome passengers with reduced mobility. For more information, please visit this web page
To check the accessibility of the ferries, please contact the following telephone number: +41 912221111.


"Project carried out under the General program of intervention of the Lombardy Region, funded by the Ministry of Economic Development - 2015 Allocation".