October 27, 2002
Before stumbling onto this haven in the city we strolled the Lake Promenade which begins south in Paradiso, another of Lugano's holiday districts. There is no bad place to view Lugano's spectacular vistas, but this is one of the best feasts for the eyes. This palm tree lined walkway curves along the lake shore north, spotted with numerous benches for lounging and admiring the natural beauty. Along the way cruise ships at docks hawk their wares, souvenir shops speckle the walk, not so many, and back across the Riva V. Vela, shops, churches, and restaurants call. It is relaxing, yet exciting, calmness looking over the water and enticement behind you with the bustle of a humming resort.
Further north the Promenade widens into the lavish Parco Civico splashed with color from lively and lush landscaped flower arrangements. Walkways curl and twist from the shore back into the trees and into a sculpture area and arena for concerts scheduled often. We strolled with no destination and admired families with their stollers, lovers with their caresses, and whiled away the minutes with carefree contentment. Children scrambled on the slides in the playground, and we watched as they laughed in the cool sunshine. This a wonderful place for a picnic and some say a stop over for backpackers.
On the rambling return trip from the marina we wandered the shore side and watched as sails puffed in the breeze and cruise ships wakes splashed the sea wall. Critters scampered from tree to tree, couples smiled and people all said Hello, while we soaked it all up for perusing later.
No fee. Park is free. Museum is 40 franks, but at the moment is under renovation inside.
From journal A Run to South Switzerland (Lugano)