All Posts in the ‘Parco San Marco’ Category

The former Porlezza-Menaggio railway

August 9th, 2017 | By Valentina Guerranti in Parco San Marco, Surroundings, To know more about | No Comments »

The town of Porlezza has always been known as a tourist resort.

In fact, we can find the first tourist information as far back as the beginning of 1800.

Between 1815 and 1915, the municipalities of the Porlezza were ruled by the Austrians. They brought great benefits to the area, building important public infrastructures such as schools, sewers, aqueducts, roads and public transport.

The latter made the area accessible to the arrival of the first tourists of the day.

Among the most important works we can find:

• Today’s road Porlezza-Menaggio (1839)

• The Porlezza-Menaggio railway (1885-1966)

• Ceresio’s boats

The second half of the 1800s corresponds with the period of rapid development of rail transport.

During this era, speed of progress saw the pathways open between regions in Central Europe with the the great Lombard lakes, exploiting the Gotthard tunnel and replacing travel on horseback with the fast-paced cars.

ferrovia menaggio-porlezza

In 1881, the Canton of Ticino inaugurated the Gotthard Railroad and from this point began to create all the Ticino links that also led to the development of line connecting Italy and Switzerland.

It was in 1872 that the project was launched to connect Lario, Ceresio and Verbano with railway lines so that the important towns of Menaggio and Luino could be connected to the city of Lugano in Italian Switzerland.

The initial project consisted of an extraordinary circular link:

Lugano – Porlezza – Como – Milan – Porto Ceresio – Lugano: for the purpose of tourism and facilitation in the exchange of goods. Unfortunately, the project was only partially implemented. The actual connections were Luino-Lugano via railway line, Lugano-Porlezza by boat and from Porlezza to Menaggio by railway.

The railroad Porlezza-Menaggio was inaugurated on Wednesday 8 October 1884 and opened for public service on Monday 17 November of the same year. This railway line was perhaps the only one in Europe because of its narrow gauge. The length of the voyage was 12 km. This was considered an extraordinary distance at the time given the distance between the two lakes. Unfortunately, a few years later, with the outbreak of World War I, the golden age of the railroad ended. In addition, with the introduction of the first buses, it was felt that these cost far less and were faster – posing serious competition to the railways. This eventually led to ministerial authorization on 31 October 1939 that ended the project on the Menaggio-Porlezza railway. After World War II, there was an attempt to revive it but it was unsuccessful.

By 2014, only a few traces of the railway survived as it has been turned into cycling tracks or exploited for the construction of some buildings. In Menaggio, the station building has been restored, while the Tavordo (Porlezza) stop is the only one remaining intact. By contrast, the Porlezza station building was demolished on March 9, 2015. Now the route of this railway has become an interesting pedestrian path for a beautiful walk between the blue lakes and the green of the mountains.



written by Sara Camozzi


July 15th, 2017 | By Melanie Pohl in Activities, Parco San Marco, Surroundings | No Comments »

From June 28th to August 1st, the 7th edition of the Long Lake Festival – one of the biggest urban open-air events in Switzerland – will take place in Lugano! Every day there will be events and entertainment from the afternoon until late at night.

Longlake Lugano

Concerts, music for all tastes, literature, encounters, animations, theater and dance performances, cinemas, children’s activities, urban art installations will invade and move the streets, squares and public parks of the city, creating an intense encounter between Artists and the public.

The Festival, organized by the Events and Congresses of the City of Lugano, will host various events including:

BUSKER FESTIVAL: an apparent delusion of freaks, artists, musicians who in five days make-up and break into an artistic harmony of beauty and fullness. The Festival pays tribute to the artistic performance of the street, which in spite of the essentials of the media, gives life to quality performances.

SWISS HARLEY DAYS: the world’s most famous two-wheelers are back and the city becomes a motorcycle village. In the scheduled concerts, visit the stand with the industry news and see the traditional parade that brings together more than a thousand centaurs discovering the Luganese region.

ROAM ROAM: is the festival dedicated to live music. This year, the festival focuses on six consecutive evenings, from July 25th to July 31st, bringing to Lugano, in the splendid setting of Parco Ciani, the main stars of the current electro pop, alternative and world scenes.

ESTIVAL JAZZ LUGANO: The festival offers an exciting and particularly surprising program that, in addition to satisfying all Jazz enthusiasts, goes back to exploring the rich world of contemporary music with its rhythms, colours and melodies, oriented to the knowledge of different cultures, tolerance and coexistence.


FAMILY: The Festival offers different kinds of ideas for families and children: fairytale readings, children’s theaters, cinemas, clown show, exhibitions, and many workshops where children and teenagers can learn how to enjoy themselves.

CLASSIC: The twenty-four Capricci by Nicolò Paganini played on an evening, Der Heyser Bulgar under the fringes of the Boschetto del Parco Ciani, and Blagoslavlyayu vas, lesa (“I bless you, forests”) by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the three Sonatas and the three By Johann Sebastian Bach for solo violin, Funiculi-Funicula arranged by Arnold Schönberg, XIV for solo cello by Luciano Berio, pages of the Drexel Manuscript by Karl Friedrich Abel, Fandango by Aldemaro Romero, the six Capricci by François Adrien Servais for two Cello … and much more at the LongLake Classic Festival 2017!

WORDS: With L. Cohen we whisper that light enters the cracks present in everything, with A. Camus exclaiming that culture is the cry of man in the face of his destiny. In Words, there is a desire for authenticity.

CITY BEAT FESTIVAL: City Beats Festival will return during summer 2018.

URBAN ART: Urban Art is a site of artistic initiatives that ofer a range of different experimental contexts and which link citizens with the urban context and with recall themes.

LONGLAKE PLUS: LongLake Plus collects other proposals organized during the LongLake Festival (June 28 – August 1), which enliven the Luganese summer. Although not a festival, LongLake Plus completes the festival offering by involving many other organisers and increasing the visibility of the various summer billboards.

In conclusion, the events on the agenda are varied and for all tastes! So do not miss this fantastic festival and its entertainment while staying at the Parco San Marco!


Cistercian Abbey of Piona

June 22nd, 2017 | By Wendy Koppen in Parco San Marco, Surroundings, To know more about | No Comments »

The Priory of Piona, commonly known as the Abbey of Piona, is a rare jewel of Romanesque architecture in Lombardy. Built with the typical coma stone art in a square style, it is located on the Lecchese shore of lake Como in the municipality of Colico and can be reached by boat.

PionaNestled at the foot of the Legnone and Legnoncino Mountains, the abbey rises at the end of the Olgiasca peninsula in front of Gravedona on the extreme tip of Lecco.

It was consecrated in 1138 and named after the Virgin.

The Church appears slightly behind the western side of the monastery on which it stands.

The first church dedicated to Santa Giustina was erected in medieval times and many centuries later the priory was founded with the abbey complex. The place sits along a strategic military route as via Valtellina connects Milan and central Italy to the rest of Europe.

In present-day Piona, therefore, there are two buildings: today’s church of St. Nicholas, which constitutes the true building nucleus of the Piona Priory, and behind this is the ruins of a portion of apse. They are the preserved remains of a building that degraded over time and was then destroyed, thus making room for the next building dedicated to St. Nicholas.

The architecture of the Abbey complex falls into the so-called Romanesque Lombard with transalpine influences. The present building is the result of multiple extensions of a previous church whose consecration dates back to 1138.

In the south part of the church, there is a beautiful cloister built later around 1242, replacing perhaps a previous one of which there is no evidence in present day. It is the reference point of the entire monastic complex, a place of silence. The structure is quadrangular to evoke the symbolic force of number four.

In the center of the cloister the source and the tree represent the source of the delights and the tree of life of the earthly paradise.


Strolling through the olive groves and discovering the main church, the splendid cloister, the apse, the ruins of the church of Santa Giustina, the beautiful chapter hall and the views of the lake is surely a mystical and exciting experience.

In one of the buildings of the complex, the monks who still inhabit this place sell some products including medicinal herbs, sacred objects, cosmetic creams, honey and famous liquors cleverly distilled according to the oldest traditions – all natural products created by the monks themselves.

written by Sara Biacchi

The Begna waterfall

June 19th, 2017 | By Deborah Giorno in Parco San Marco, Surroundings, To know more about | No Comments »

Cascata-di-BegnaJust 25 minutes from Parco San Marco (10 minutes by car and 15 minutes on foot) you can reach one of the most beautiful places in Porlezza. You will be immersed in a wonderful natural space where you can enjoy the view of a splendid, albeit small, waterfall: the Begna waterfall.

If you leave your car at Begna near the parish church and the playground (the parking is free), you can continue on foot following the signs for the “Strolech Bridge” and then to the waterfall. The trail is not difficult, apart from a short but steep descent leading to an old stone bridge.

The trail begins on a paved road through the town’s streets leading to the forest path. At a certain point the trail offers a  fantastic panoramic view of the plain of Porlezza, after which will find old farmhouses and then a small chapel. Taking the left-hand path that continues downhill, you will arrive in a matter of minutes at the waterfall .

It is ideal to go on a hot summer day, when you can start out with a costume and towel to appreciate the coolness of a place that, even in the summer, never gets too hot.

If, however, after seeing the waterfall you want to keep walking, you can go back to the old chapel and, following the signs for the Strolech bridge, you will arrive there in just over an hour.

Returning to the parking area, take a few minutes to see an old “ice house” that is right next to the playground. It was used to preserve snow and ice to be exploited as a rudimentary refrigerator for the preservation of perishable foods.

The world seen from a sail boat: the wind, a sense of liberty, respect for nature, emotions that sculpt the soul

May 22nd, 2017 | By Roberto Fornari in Activities, Parco San Marco, Surroundings, To know more about | No Comments »

“We cannot change the wind, but we can adjust our sails” (Aristoteles)

Roberto Fornari (Operations Manager) tells us about sailing on Lake Lugano:

Val Cavargna

Close your eyes and try to imagine the following:

You are on the shore of the enchanting Lago di Lugano in Cima di Porlezza. In front of you is the port of Porlezza, numerous small boats dance on the lake. Among them is one special specimen, a beautiful sailing boat.

In no time at all, you are aboard this boat and the adventure takes its course. You glide over the emerald waters of the magical lake and you see the world from another perspective.

On the shores of the lake, in an amazing subtropical park, you can find the simply unique Parco San Marco Lifestyle Beach Resort. The Resort offers a wealth of opportunities to spend an unforgettable time:

Elegant suites with lake view

The largest private beach at Lake Lugano

Mountain forest for relaxing and climbing

Wellness and SPA for the harmony of body and mind

Four à la carte restaurants

Fitness and sports facilities

Boats, surfboards and a port with a very particular sailboat!

Let`s continue our adventure as we return to the sailboat. Next the skipper of the boat, a passionate sailor and man of action, introduces you to the rules of sailing:

  1. Regardless of how big the waves are and which vehicle you choose, each sailor wears a life jacket at all times. Even before entering the boat, they put the life vests and proper equipment.
  2. The wind, water and waves form the basic elements of sailing. Wave and wind are inseparable: the longer the distance the wind winds over the water unimpeded, the stronger the wave.
  3. On the water, sailors are not just athletes, but also traffic-users. And as in road traffic, it is important for every sailor to observe the applicable rules. The most important ones are:
  • an overtaking boat has to keep clear
  • moving boats must avoid stopped boats
  • sailboats have the right-of-way over power boats.

barche a vela

The Fascination of Sailing:

Sailing is more diverse than hardly any other sport. The melting with nature and the union of matter and human, strengthens the entire personality.

And it lets you find some tranquillity! Sailing is a great way to bring peace and quiet into our busy lives; the simple sounds of the wind as it fills the sails, or the water as it flows past the boat can be very relaxing and centering, a perfect antidote to the stresses of the modern world. It gives people the understanding that they can relax, whilst at the same time focusing on sailing…

After this short introduction to sailing, let your imagination run wild and sail with the wind of the sun, on the magical Lake of Lugano!

I am looking forward to your visit.

Roberto Fornari, Operations Manager

“La Pompia”: from Sardinia to our Table

April 29th, 2017 | By Paola Mazzo in Parco San Marco, To know more about | No Comments »

You may never have heard of it but you can find a very special variety of lemon at Parco San Marco, which Sardinians fondly refer to as  ‘la Pompia’.

pompia pianta

“La Pompìa” is a type of primitive citrus  local to Sardinia which can reach a weight of up to a kilo, and  which is found throughout the communes of Siniscola, Posada, Torpè and Orosei in north-west Sardinia.

Interestingly, until July 2015, it was defined in such a way that it was not recognized at the academic level.

Its origins are not yet fully known. The most accredited theory is that it is a hybrid between cedar and lemon, although some scholars talk about a hybrid between cedar and grapefruit. What is certain is that Pompia are among the rarest and most ugly citrus fruits in the world: up to twenty years ago there were only a few hundred trees. The revival and rediscovery of this fruit took place at the end of the 90′s of the last century, when Siniscola decided to plant an extensive cultivation of Pompia for a social agriculture project.

cesto pompia

In 2004, a committee was formed in Siniscola to preserve this rare example of biodiversity. Since that year, the Pompia has participated in all the ‘slow food’ events such as the Salone di Taste, both editions of Eurogusto a Tours (2009-2011) and in the major Italian fairs dedicated to quality food and food products.

The Pompia is used for its sweet-sour flavor, for example, in a jam for the tarts we make in-house for the breakfast buffet or even to accompany the Fiore Sardo DOP cheese.

With its sublime freshness, it is the ideal ingredient for a great Mediterranean flavour of our land. It is also used to prepare liqueurs and liqueur creams and one of the widely appreciated products is the Pompia liqueur, which is served cold as a digestive. In the past it was also known to be caramelized and used in the preparation of sweets and deserts.

Written by MICHELE PILI, Executive Chef

Como – The Roman Town-

April 4th, 2017 | By Annalisa De Maria in Parco San Marco, Surroundings, To know more about | No Comments »

Let´s discover the city of Como, a jewel near Parco San Marco!

The modern city, with roads that intersect at right angles, reflects the origins of the military camp from which the Roman Novum Comum was born: the decumanus (an east-west-oriented road in a Roman city) corresponds with the today’s Via Indipendenza.


Starting from Porta Torre on the right hand side, inside a nineteenth century building, is the Porta Roman Como, the main access for those who came from Milan which headed to the north, across the lake or along the Via Regina . The archaeological remains of the Porta, discovered in 1914, were recently the subject of a new museum.

Continuing along Via Cesare Cantù you can see eight marble columns that have been used in the neoclassical façade of the Liceo Alessandro Volta. Coming from the early Christian Baptistery of San Giovanni in Atrio, it had already had been reused by an unknown monument from the Roman period.

Turn right into Via Giovio, you get to the Piazza Medaglie d’Oro where  you will find the The Civic Museum of Archeology “Paolo Giovio”, which collects the material evidence of the territory from the Palaeolithic to the late Roman period. The Roman period is illustrated by the finds in and around the city and with plastic and graphic reconstructions. Some architectural marble documents the sophistication that was to characterize the city in the first centuries after Christ.


Along Via Vittorio Emanuele II, turn right into via Perti to visit the Roman baths of Viale Lecco, whose remains, which are conserved in a newly built car park, are accessible to the public. They were built in the second half of the first century A.D. and demonstrate the importance of the city at that historical moment. Expanded and enlarged in the second century A.D., it fell into disuse in late antiquity and the area, outside the walls, was later occupied by a necropolis.

The visit can end along Via Independence, the decumanus, in Piazza San Fedele, probably the ancient area of ​​the Roman Forum.

Como Piazza San Fedele

Artists at Parco San Marco

March 21st, 2017 | By Melanie Pohl in Parco San Marco, To know more about | No Comments »

In 2017, the Parco San Marco Lifestyle Beach Resort is hosting a joint exhibition of five famous masters of the Italian art scene under the guidance of famous art critic Giammarco Puntelli, curator of the exhibition which closed the Rome Jubilee.

Luigi Arico',  Il Volo, LARGHEZZA CM 100 ALTEZZA 45 cm, PROFONDITA` 28 cm, acciaio reciclato,2017

Five artists, five careers and five different styles are brought together in an eclectic collection based on heavy metals such as bronze and iron, amorphous materials such as glass and metamorphic rocks such as marble.GIULIANO OTTAVIANI, Scultura tecnica a mosaico con tasselli di marmo e vetro dorato cm 220- 1990


Giuliano Ottaviani, who has the Italian Order of Merit, is a painter, sculptor and goldsmith. His works have been acquired by museums around the world from Brazil to China.

In his sculptures, Amerigo Dorel brings to life a movement that uses spirals which transform into expressive knots with sensual and anatomic allusions.

Jucci Ugolotti favours bigger dimensions. She has undertaken restoration projects of monumental sculptural works in copper, bronze and marble.

Luigi Aricò loves physical contact with objects that “come apart and go back together again”. He creates his works, images and sculptures using recyclable materials; iron, tree trunks, old motor and machinery parts.

Italo Duranti, awarded Artist of the Year 2016 in Rome, is the world leader for sculpture of the Movimento del Nuovo Rinascimento (the new renaissance movement). Iron and wood are his great passions – transforming them into works of art.

The Pizza World Championship

February 21st, 2017 | By Melanie Pohl in Parco San Marco, To know more about | No Comments »

Every year there is the Pizza World Championship. This year, the 26th edition, will also mark the participation Parco San Marco. Yes, you read right! Our pizza maker Horace will challenge the best players in the world as a representative of the Beach Lounge & Pizzeria San Marco during the great and famous event which will be held in May, 8-10, in Parma.


There are 11 categories for which you can compete including in Pala Pizza, Pizza Pizza Larga and classic to which we have subscribed. This is undoubtedly THE event dedicated to the most-loved dish in the world and which happens to represent Italian excellence. To be precise: the pizza.

Today pizza has reached starry levels with more sophisticated products and prepared by real gourmets. But how did the real pizza come about?

The history of pizza is long, complex and uncertain. The first written records of the word “pizza” date back to common Latin. In the sixteenth century in Naples, a flat bread it was given the name pizza derived from the mispronunciation of the word “pitta”.

Before the seventeenth century, the pizza was covered with white sauce. It was later replaced with olive oil, cheese, tomatoes or fish. The marinara pizza dates back to 1734, while the Margherita pizza can be dated somewhere between 1796-1810. In June 1889, to honor the visit of Queen Margherita of Savoy of Italy, chef Raffaele Esposito who was a chef at the pizzeria Pietro…e Basta Così (founded in 1780, which still exists today under the name Brandi pizzeria) prepared the “Pizza Margherita”. A pizza topped with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil to represent the colors of the Italian flag, green, white and red, the chef in fact gave it the name “Daisy” (“Margherita” in Italian) in honor of the Queen of Italy.


Slowly, the popular home-made focaccia enriched with tomato spread to all social classes and in all Italian regions, and with it the specialization in local pizza preparation: the first ovens probably meant that the pizza was eaten standing on the street, then later trattorias and pizzerias were built.

We are confident that our pizza maker will impress everyone with his great experience. And you, have you already tried one of his pizzas? What are you waiting for? Book your next summer holiday on Lake Lugano to taste one of his delicious pizzas for yourself at our private beach!

See you soon!


Club Bim Bam Bino we will be reliving an exciting Indian adventure

February 12th, 2017 | By Melanie Pohl in Parco San Marco | No Comments »

Dear Children,

This year at the Club Bim Bam Bino we will be reliving an exciting Indian adventure. Pay close attention:
Indians are the indigenous inhabitants of North America. When the explorer Christopher Columbus discovered America around 500 years ago, he thought he had landed in India. And so, he called the inhabitants Indians.

The native American tribes lived as fishermen, hunters and gatherers. Some moved from place to place according to the time of year, others lived in cliff dwellings. Later, many settled where they were and began to cultivate the land.


The Indians lived in harmony with nature. They honoured Mother Earth with respect and were mindful of animals, plants, rivers and mountains. To make fire, they collected dry wood from the floor to protect the trees. They never hunted unnecessarily but killed only when it was essential to survive. They prayed to the animals for forgiveness. The hunting of bison was sacred to them – a slain bison meant food, clothing, equipment and shelter (Tee-pee).

Their life was full of rituals and ceremonies. One of the most well-known rituals is the smoking of the peace pipe, the Calumet. This holy ritual would be used in making important decisions and honoured the harmonious power of life.


With the arrival of the Europeans, the habitual way of life of the Indians changed. Before, the locals had no knowledge of horses but quickly learned to appreciate them. Little by little, more English, Dutch and Spanish arrived to make a new life in America. On May 14th 1607, three English ships arrived in Virginia with plans to create the ‘New World’, and more specifically to take over against the will of the Indians. A key figure in the colonisation, soldier John Smith, was captured and imprisoned by the Indians but his life was saved by the famous Pocahontas, the Indian chief’s daughter.
And sure, you know that story…

Again and again, it came to disputes and battles until the Indians were almost wiped out. Today they live in government-protected reservations.

Want to learn more? We can’t wait to see you!