SWISS-ITALIAN TREAT

Old Jul 22nd, 2003, 01:20 PM
  #1  
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SWISS-ITALIAN TREAT

AFTER A WONDERFUL BUT TIRING TRIP TO MUNICH, VENICE, FLORENCE AND PISA WE WANTED A PLACE TO JUST KICK BACK AND RECOVER BEFORE THE FLIGHT BACK TO THE U.S.A. NOT A "REST HOME" BUT A PLACE WHERE THE SIGHTS ARE INTERESTING BUT NOT OVERWHELMING, THE PEOPLE ARE LIVELY BUT NOT HECTIC AND THE PACE IS OUR OWN NOT A TOUR GUIDE'S. WE PICKED LUGANO, SWITZERLAND AS THE PLACE...AND WERE WE RIGHT ON! LAKE LUGANO, THE SURROUNDING ALPS, THE CITY ITSELF WERE ALL WONDERFUL AND FIT OUR DESIRES PERFECTLY. THE "JEWEL" OF THE STAY, THOUGH, WAS THE HOTEL WE STAYED AT. IT IS THE PARKHOTEL VILLA NIZZA IN THE PARADISO (APTLY NAMED) SECTION OF LUGANO. THE FEELING OF LOLLING IN A BEAUTIFUL SWIMMING POOL, RINGED BY PALM TREES IN THE ALPS IS INDESCRIBABLE (YES PALM TREES). IN THE EVENING, WATCHING THE LIGHTS BLINK ON FROM OUR BALCONY OVERLOOKING LAKE LUGANO AND THE CITY CENTER WAS ESPECIALLY MEMORABLE. THE QUARDI FAMILY HAVE OWNED THE HOTEL FOR THREE GENERATIONS AND THEIR LOVE FOR IT SHOWS EVERYWHERE. MR. AND MRS. QUARDI ARE WONDERFUL, FRIENDLY HOSTS. THE DINNERS AT THE HOTEL WERE SUPERB, COMPLETE WITH WINE FROM THE OWNERS PRIVATE VINEYARD AND THE BREAKFASTS FEATURED SUPERB HOMEMADE FRUIT PRESERVES. ALL OF THIS WITH A FRIENDLY, HAPPY STAFF WHICH MADE US FEEL LIKE FAMILY. WE RECOMMEND A STOP IN LUGANO (AND THE VILLA NIZZA) TO ALL.
GABRIEL is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2003, 02:19 PM
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What is indescribable and overwhelming is that my eyes hurt so bad I cant get past the first line.I am sure this is a wonderful report but I'll have to pass.
BeachBoi is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2003, 02:27 PM
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Wow! What a great report. I will make a note to visit Lugano next trip. Thrilled that you had such a grand experience! Sounds like a trip of a life time. Just need to know how the food was and if you escaped the Italian heat wave in Switzerland.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2003, 03:21 PM
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Great feedback. I believe this is the hotel:

http://www.villanizza.com/

Lugano was high on my list for next year from a few other raves posted here. Thanks for posting.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 06:43 AM
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Lugano is a wonderful part of Switzerland which is completely different from the rest of CH. It
has more than just an Italian flavor
, it is a small city with very good
ristorantes and shops, one in particular
was the SAYANORA, in the Pza Cioccaro.
as well as our hotel the LUGANO DANTE..
Have stayed there twice and found it to
be an excellant hotel. The old town
has a number of historic buildings and
it has a casino on the riva, worth a visit and also one at Campione d'Italia
reachable by boat or taxi...Coming out of the northern mountains to the south
slopes of the Alps is a very wonderful experience... Richard of LaGrange Park, Il..
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Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 07:35 AM
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ira
 
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Hi Gabriel,

I'msureyourreportwasquiteinterstingbutthelackofpar agraphsmakesitextremelydifficulttoread.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 07:39 AM
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I did plow through it, and it is a good report, thanks Gabriel. But it is also tough to read with all CAPS and no paragraphs.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 07:51 AM
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Just a re-do for easier reading:

After a wonderful but tiring trip to Munich, Venice, Florence and Pisa we wanted a place to just kick back and recover before the flight back to the U.S.A. Not a "rest home" but a place where the sights are interesting but not overwhelming, the people are lively but not hectic and the pace is our own not a tour guide's.

We picked Lugarno, Switzerland as the place...and were we right on! Lake Lugarno, the surrounding alps, the city itself were all wonderful and fit our desires perfectly. The "jewel" of the stay, though, was the hotel we stayed at. It is the parkhotel villa nizza in the paradiso (aptly named) section of lugano. The feeling of lolling in a beautiful swimming pool, ringed by palm trees in the alps is indescribable (yes palm trees).

In the evening, watching the lights blink on from our balcony overlooking lake lugano and the city center was especially memorable. The Quardi family have owned the hotel for three generations and their love for it shows everywhere. Mr. And Mrs. Quardi are wonderful, friendly hosts. The dinners at the hotel were superb, complete with wine from the owners private vineyard and the breakfasts featured superb homemade fruit preserves. All of this with a friendly, happy staff which made us feel like family. We recommend a stop in lugano (and the villa nizza) to all.
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Old Jul 29th, 2003, 09:22 AM
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Hi to All.

Sorry for my typing style. To my 71-year old eyes, the use of all caps is usually quite welcome but I shouldn't have assumed that's true for everybody! I'll try to improve on that and on paragraphing too.

To Calamari:

Yes, we did escape the heat wave that was going all through Europe while we were there, but not by much. However, the lake and the height of the mountain sites we visited cooled us off a bit. Good luck with your visit.
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Old Jul 29th, 2003, 09:41 AM
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Gabriel-I have great eyesight and didn't have a problem with the "ALLCAPS", ha ha. I also loved Lake Lugano when I stopped as part of a European tour I did awhile back, but unfortunately we only stopped for a few hours. I'd love to go back and wondering if Lake Lugano would be more beautiful than Lake Como (or no comparison)?
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Old Jul 30th, 2003, 10:34 AM
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Gabriel: We really enjoyed this hotel when we stayed there in June/July 2002. I have searched and cannot find my trip report here on Fodors so I will post it again:

Lugano
Mini Trip Report

When we arrived by train from Lucerne in Lugano, we stepped off the train to hot and muggy weather. Upon inspecting the posted map we decided to take a taxi instead of attempting to haul luggage on the bus and it was ?a good thing?. Park Hotel Villa Nizza is located in Paradiso which is about a 20 minute walk from the center of Lugano. This may not seem far except that a portion of it is uphill and upstairs. I kept reminding my husband, each time we made this trek, that I had discussed the hotel?s location with him several times and WE had decided that it was doable.

The driveway up to the hotel is one lane ? if someone is coming down, you have to back up. The location is just lovely. You feel as if you have left the city and arrived in the country ? as if there are no other hotels around. Stepping through the entrance, I almost walked right past the reception desk and into the lounge as there is a floor to ceiling window with the most beautiful view of Lugano.

The hotel is very deceiving from the outside (very plain). It is a mix of very old style architecture but modern furnishings. Our room and bathroom were large with a large balcony. We had a partial view of Lugano and enjoyed sitting on the balcony in the evening. No air conditioning but large windows.

Each morning we enjoyed breakfast in a formal dining room. The breakfast was standard fare (rolls, croissants, coffee) but was served with the most delicious homemade jams, and fruit grown in the hotel?s garden. The Italian staff was great and exceptionally helpful.

We walked down the hill and along the lake to Lugano. Our Swiss Pass covered the ferries, trains, and buses and it is possible to take a local train from Paradiso to Lugano but we like to walk. We were also able to pick up the train to Locarno from Paradiso. Be sure to pick up a local train schedule. Ferries didn?t seem to run that often and not always available when we needed, but we did use them.

Both the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo and Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angeli are well worth a visit. There is lots of shopping and cafes in the old town and we were able to enjoy a jazz festival one evening. We also visited Morcote, Gandria, and Locarno.

Walking back to the hotel in the afternoon, we would arrive hot and tired so the pool felt great. It is in a tropical setting with palm trees, and flowers, set against a green hillside. Very refreshing.

Dinner was served in the garden and never disappointed. I believe I most enjoyed eating dinner at the hotel as it made me feel we had stepped back into a time when hotel guests dressed for dinner, enjoyed meeting other guests, having a lively discussion, and waited on by a friendly, Italian waiters. We did meet interesting people at dinner and also at cocktail hour on Friday evening.

One night my husband asked the Manager for a restaurant recommendation. She made us a reservation at a very small, family run place called Ari?s Bar. They were having a ?fish festival? and had a bbq set up on the patio ? shrimp, logostinos, sea bass marinated in herbs. Yummy. The owner was opening bottles of champagne by slicing off the bottle necks with a sword! The waitresses could only speak Italian so luckily my Italian/American husband was able to order for us.

We almost canceled out of Lugano as we were so enjoying Murren so much but are glad we did not. I do think that staying at Park Hotel Villa Nizza though has to be the reason I liked Lugano so much. It was an experience and I can see why it is a Fodor?s pick. Well kept secret.
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Old Jul 31st, 2003, 03:30 PM
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Another Swiss/Italian treat is LOCARNO. It is on Lago Maggiore and sits at the base of the Alps. Swiss hospitality and Italian food and shopping. I highly recommend this little town with such wonderful scenery. La Palma Au Lac is a lovely hotel right on the lake front and an easy walk to great food (pizza and chianti...yum) and shopping. We try to visit Locarno every time we are in Switzerland. The last time was this past April. I don't know about summer weather as I'm usually there during spring break and it's PERFECT at that time.
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