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Downtown Lugano has several highly specialized stores where you can do your daily shopping and where you will find excellent foods and wines.


Lugano Sud (Grancia) is easily accessible and also very convenient for daily shopping.


Important (local) telephone numbers:

British Vice-Consulate in Lugano: 091-9500606
Emergency contact American Embassy Bern: 031-3577011

Police (emergencies): 117

Police (Lugano): 091-8668111

Medical emergencies: 1818

Ambulance: 144

Main hospital Lugano (Ospedale Civico): 091-8116111

Fire department: 118

Road Emergency Service: 140





View from the ski slopes of the San Bernardino

A perhaps somewhat unexpected picture taken on the slopes of the Monte Tamaro

Step 7 - Settling In

Get a declaration from the Municipality that you actual own a property in the city or village. In case of a condominium the declaration should make a reference to the PPP ("Proprietá Per Piani") and be signed by the mayor. The document is useful when dealing with customs officials when you transport goods to your new residence from outside the country. You can also use the document when claiming back VAT paid on goods purchased in the European Community when transporting them to Switzerland. This may be a painful process when you are not a Swiss resident, but when it concerns typical household goods you should have a good chance of getting back the VAT.

Transporting Household & Personal Belongings to Switzerland

Swiss Customs requires detailed inventory lists in either French, German or Italian. Items must be listed and valued separately. To prepare all the necessary Customs Documents an official removal company will charge you around €200,-.

From personal experience I know that to cross the border with household goods in your own car typically occurs without any problems. Just mention “reisegepack für die ferienwohnung” and “alles gebraucht” to the Custom Officials at the border and they will typically let you through.

Once you're moving in do not forget to get a household insurance. You can get one at Nationale Suisse.

Local contacts you may need (in Lugano area):

An interesting blog is the "Life in Lugano or Ticino in general- pros and cons".

Useful Links


Weather forecast Lugano area


The best restaurant in Ticino is in my opinion "Da Candida" in Campione d'Italia. Owner and Somelier Bernard Fournier is proud that all his dishes are freshly made and that they prepare everything themselves, "except the mineral water and the wine". Be prepared to pay about CHF 100,- per person and you will have a great and memorable French/Italian lunch or dinner.


On the Lago Maggiore, in the heart of Ascona, in the passageway named Passaggio San Pietro, I strongly recommend the Hostaria San Pietro. Owner Gino and his wife Sonja and son Enzo are great hosts. They serve grilled, typical Mediterranean, specialties prepared using exclusively fresh ingredients.

Fun 4 Kids

If you have children (or grandchildren) you will want them to have a great time in Ticino. There are many exciting activities you can undertake with them. Here are just some examples:


You will find local elementary schools and nurseries even in relatively small villages. If you are looking for International Schools we can recommend the following: