Original Tours Ticino. As this small company claims in its name, its tours are original. Combining the best of education and sightseeing, each tour begins with 60 to 90 minutes of Italian lessons and conversation. Once tongues are loosened, tours head out for an excursion. From a cable car ride up to Monte Brè to a risotto cooking class, director Patricia Carminati leads a variety of rotating daily activities. Crocetta 23B, Lugano, Ticino, 6962. 076/6166842. From SF 20.

Swiss River Adventures. Ticino is called the "canyoning mecca of Europe" for a reason—a vast selection of gorges and lush vegetation make the canton a favorite for the sport. Follow a river down its narrow pathway, sliding over smooth rocks and rappelling down giant boulders. Tours are available for ages 12 and up, at all levels, from beginner to expert. 081/9360104 ; From 150 SF.

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