Posts Tagged ‘Ticino’

The UNESCO Sites of our Territory

February 20th, 2018 | By Elisa Novati in Activities, Parco San Marco, Surroundings, To know more about | No Comments »

Near the Parco San Marco resort, there are several sites that are part of the UNESCO heritage and that are worth visiting during your stay here with us!



In the Sacred Mountains of northern Italy are groups of chapels and other architectural artefacts erected between the 16th and 17th centuries. In addition to their symbolic and spiritual significance, they possess remarkable qualities of beauty and are integrated into a natural and landscape environment of hills, forests and lakes. These are the reasons that led UNESCO to include them on the World Heritage list in 2003.

The Sacro Monte above Varese rises to 883 m. s.l.m. The devotional path develops along the slopes of Monte Velate, in a splendid panoramic position that turns the gaze to the prealpine lakes and the plain. At the Sacro Monte in Varese, important artists, such as Giovan Mauro della Rovere, one of the Fiammenghini and Pier Francesco Mazzucchelli, called the Morazzone, have worked in cultural landscape of Lombardy.

Located on the western side of Lake Como, the Sacro Monte di Ossuccio has remarkable scenery. The complex is located on a slope immediately behind Ossuccio (419 m s.l.m.), opposite the Comacina island, in a splendid panoramic position on the lake. The Sacred Mount is made up of fifteen chapels dedicated to the Mysteries of the Rosary, built between 1635 and 1710. These are distributed along a cobbled road that leads to the sanctuary, along olive groves that give the complex a great harmony between architecture and landscape.


monte san giorgio panorama

The Monte San Giorgio is the best evidence of a geological history dating back to the Triassic 245-230 million years ago and, through the thousands of fossils found from the nineteenth century up to the present day, has allowed us to study the evolution of various animal species and plant. The site presents the remains of a tropical lagoon environment, separated from the open sea, near the emerged lands whose palaeontological content includes terrestrial organisms such as reptiles, insects and plants.

The rocky pyramid of Monte San Giorgio rises 1,097 meters between Lombardy and the Canton of Ticino, between the two southern branches of Lake Lugano, Porto Ceresio (Italy) and Capolago (Switzerland).

From the nineteenth century until today, 21,000 specimens have been found that have allowed us to study the history and evolution of many animal and plant species, some of which are exclusive to Monte San Giorgio, making it a point of reference for the studies of the Middle Triassic period.


The castles of Bellinzona are among the most admirable examples of medieval fortified architecture in Switzerland. Today’s configuration of the Bellinzona lock, which has its distant origins in a late-ancient nucleus located on the hill of Castelgrande, is essentially due to the complex construction activity promoted by the Dukes of Milan in the fifteenth century. At that time, the construction of a powerful defensive system that barred the width of the Ticino valley to stop the advance of the confederates was brought back to light. Even today this fortification, with its crenellated walls, towers and gates, does not cease to arouse wonder.castello-2_slideshow

After reconstructions that took place over the centuries, restorations and recent improvements, the three castles, Castelgrande, Montebello and Sasso Corbaro received recognition of the World Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2000.

Today, the easiest way to get to the Castelgrande is the lift, which from the base of the hill leads directly into the complex.


December 14th, 2017 | By Elisa Novati in Parco San Marco, To know more about | No Comments »

They always told me that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is different all over the world, it’s a matter of habit. In Italy the lead character of this ritual is coffee.


Now coffee is made by most Italians by using the machine. Put the water, insert the capsule and in a few minutes you have the coffee from the bar on your table.

But coffee made in a moka pot is another story. It means pleasure, family, serenity, pause. Above all else, it means home and, when abroad, reminds us of Italy.

For Italians, to say “I’ll make you you a coffee,” is a demonstrantion of our affection and our attention.

The main advantage of using a moka pot is that it allows you to make very hot coffee and allows you to make coffee for more than one person at a time.

So, how do you make the “perfect” coffee?

  1. Choose the right ground of coffee. For coffee made in a moka, it requires a coarser ground than that of coffee machines.
  2. Fill the boiler (the lower section of the moka) with the right amount of water. To get an optimal result you should use bottled water rather than tap. Try not to exceed the level of the valve.
  3. Choose the right amount of coffee. Make sure that the filter is dry and that you do not wet the coffee powder. Add the powder and try to level it either with a spoon or gently tapping the filter a little at a time. Try to make the quantity of coffee in the filter as uniform as possible.
  4. Note to keep in mind: coffee made with Moka should not be pressed at all. You just need to make sure it is dry and leveled well.
  5. Once the moka is prepared, put it on the stove keeping the flame low and continue to monitor it.
  6. It is important to turn off the gas flame or remove the moka from the stove before the coffee has completely come out. The ideal would be to remove the moka from the stove before it gurgles.
  7. Now you can pour the hot coffee into the cup.


To get the best coffee ever, there are also some tips you could use: one of our partners has told us that, to keep the aroma of the coffee, it’s best to keep the coffee tin in the refrigerator.

An order rather than simply a piece of advice is not to wash the mocha in the dishwasher! To clean the moka, simply rinse it with hot water or, at most, wash it with neutral detergents.

Remember that you have to wait for coffee, it’s a slow process to follow step by step. Making coffee is an art and it takes time and patience for art.

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate

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

Making me laugh, smile and rejoice

Certainly chocolate brings good humor. The same as staying in Parco San Marco.

So how does one talk about chocolate? Simple. At the chocolate event that being organised in Lugano.


CHOC is a fair organized by CHOC SAGL and sponsorsed by the City of Lugano, in collaboration with the Lugano Tourist Board and the Society of Mastri Panettieri – Pasticcieri – Confettieri of the Canton Ticino (SMPPC).

It is the only Swiss fair in Switzerland dedicated to the history, production and processing of chocolate. CHOC is for families and professionals with categories relating to confectionery, pastry and gastronomy in general, with particular attention to young people who are eager to undertake a profession in the industry.

It is a great opportunity to experience confectionary tasting, meet manufacturers and learn about the machines used for industrial scale production as well as hand-crafted chocolate making at the same time as taking advantage of first-class services.

The goal of the 1st edition of CHOC is to involve guest producing countries. With 50 exhibitors in an exhibition area of over 2,000 square meters, the event is expecting over 20,000 visitors from Ticino, near Italy, and especially from beyond the Gotthard, taking full advantage of the new Gotthard base tunnel.


At the CHOC fair, as well as cocoa bean growers, you will be able to meet fashion designers with their own dedicated shows, pastry masters with special “Show-CHOCking” restaurants and starred chefs who will present numerous chocolate techniques for the traditional kitchen. The event will feature books dedicated to the industry, public figures, artists with photographic exhibitions, and Swiss and European schools in the professional training sector.

In addition to exhibitors featuring products and services, CHOC will also offer chocolate workshops, workshops, conferences and debates. Let’s not forget the demonstrations and professional competitions that will be presented in the demo area where you can see live presentations of all the tricks and preparation techniques of pastry masters.

All demonstrations and presentations will be organized directly in collaboration with the exhibitors, partner companies and Swiss and foreign professional schools of the 1st edition of the CHOC trade fair.

CHOC will focus on various themes including: the Chocolate Museum, the conference area and “Workshop” open to the public and industry experts, the demonstration area and special “Show-CHOCking” shows with a photographic exhibition on the history of chocolate, the press corner with national and international magazines, bio-vegan and fair trade chocolate and many other surprises!

And for the little ones there will be lots of fun opportunities.


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

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

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

February 12th, 2017 | By Elisa Novati 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!

News 2017

January 31st, 2017 | By Elisa Novati in Parco San Marco | No Comments »

As with every year, there are many new things that will be waiting for our guests with the opening of the new season in 2017.
Whether they be great works or minor surgery, we always try to give our best to make your stay on Lake Lugano is as beautiful as possible.

Last year we surprised you with the new Sky Lounge, our rooftop terrace bar, which is the perfect place for your aperitif or a drink after dinner at one of our restaurants.


For the opening of our new season on March 24 2017 we decided to focus on our suites. Firstly, is the Easy One-Bedroom Suite whose bedroom provides a modern and attractive touch through the use of grays and taupes throughout. This category of suite with beautiful private gardens, is located in the most central part of the Resort, and is perfect for families with young babies because the reception and the San Marco restaurant can both be easily reached by a short walk with a stroller.

One Bedroom Suite WohnzimmerThe number of our One-Bedroom Suites are going to increase and these rooms with lake views are accessible by little bridges. In addition to this, there will also be some great changes in Dependence del Parco.
The first of the new constructions in the Dependence del Parco is the Grand Suite. The suite, which can accommodate bookings starting from four people, is 90 square meters. Perfectly situated, you can directly access the resort’s beach, the largest private beach on Lake Lugano, by foot in just a matter of minutes.

2017 has also started well for Parco San Marco thanks to its first-place ranking on Holiday Check for hotels in Lombardy, listed as the best beach hotel in Italy! Not bad really!

We will leave you speechless with our new culinary concepts and your children will thoroughly enjoy the new theme to the Club Bim Bam Bino where they can play and know the world around Parco San Marco with our animation team, and more.

Do not waste any more time, there are still a few suites available! See you soon!

History of Massage

September 21st, 2016 | By Deborah Giorno in Activities, Parco San Marco, To know more about | No Comments »

Massage is the oldest form of physical therapy, used over time by different civilizations to relieve pain and encourage the muscles to relax. The word massage seems to derive from the Arabic word “mass” (rub, press) or from the Greek word “boulder” (kneading, handle). Today it has found its place within the recognised and respected fields of physical therapy, alternative health and beauty treatments and encompasses many different types of massage all with different purposes: relaxing, muscle, sports, pain relief, draining, anti-cellulite.

The massage technique is one that is done through manual bodily contact and with precise and sequential maneuvers, reducing pain and tension in the muscles.This ancient form of therapy is one of the most natural from gestures that we make every day, given that it is instinctive to rub a sore shoulder or stroke the body part that hurts us. In practice, it is a different set of maneuvers performed on the body which relieves muscle or joint pain, to tone the volume of some tissues, but also to preserve and improve the psychological well-being by easing tension and fatigue. The massage movements should be performed in the direction of the muscle fibers and must respect the direction of the body’s circulation, therefore from the extremities towards the heart. It can be decisive and quick for a toning effect or slow and gentle for a calming effect.

In addition to this, there are various massage techniques and specific maneuvers for pregnant women, for infants or for the elderly. The touch characterized by the hand that glides over the skin with a minimum pressure (real touch) or with more accentuated pressure (deep touch).

The effects of the touch are: superficial vasodilation (the widening of blood vessels), anesthesia on the skin’s nerve endings. The deep-touch effects are: elimination of dead skin cells, stimulation of circulation (should always be practiced in the direction of the heart). With friction, unlike touch, the hand does not simply slip over the skin but engages on a deeper lever in circular or elliptical movements. The effects are: detachment of adhesions (scar or postural), dissolution of all the aggregates (cellulitis, hematoma, toxins). Percussion is a sequential series of knocks with a cupped hand, a slash or a clenched fist which induces a stimulating and invigorating effect. Surface kneading ( the act of wringing / squeezing and releasing the skin with the underlying connective tissue) and deep kneading (which involves squeezing / compressing and releasing the muscles) have the main effect of accelerating the replacement of fluids for the massaged tissue and increasing oxygenation, nourishment, cleansing and cell turnover. The vibration, which is a pressure combined with an oscillating motion, produces a calming effect on nerve endings. The “virtues” of massage are innumerable. You can start with relaxation which, already in itself, allows the body to regenerate and it rebalances the nervous and hormonal system which, in turn, provides a long list of positive effects. Among the benefits, are:

  • Reduction of tension present in the form of cramps and muscle spasms.
  • Strengthening of the immune system thanks to the fact that movement and muscle contractions are an effective way to circulate lymphatic fluid (which removes toxins) in the body.
  • Improved circulation, as the movements made during the massage help to push the blood towards the heart. In practice, it promotes the exchange, on a cellular level, of blood containing toxins to be augmented with new blood rich in nutrients.
  • The elimination of dead cells while absorbing elements that nourish the skin, making it silky and helping it breathe.
  • The feeling of well-being

Are there any situations where the treatment is inadvisable?

• Usually, this technique does not carry any contraindications, however, it is worth considering that in some situations (as in the case of injuries and diseases such as fever, inflammation, heart disease, infectious diseases) it would be prudent to avoid it. When it comes to a person with any health problems, in order to avoid unnecessary risks, it is advisable to seek the opinion of the consulting physician before undergoing any massage.

foto blog spa 3

To properly perform a massage, you can not neglect the preparation phase. During the session there are, in fact, other senses (such as smell, sight and hearing) that are also stimulated which is why the environment has to be spacious, heated (24-25 °) and comfortable; soft lighting and relaxing music in the background completes the atmosphere. For the massage itself a bed is sufficient, but you can also just lie on the ground. Scented candles, finally, enchant and engage one’s sense of smell to promote relaxation. It is advisable to use a special massage oils and creams and not to do not overdo the amount. These products are already ready-made, but can also personally be created by combining a few drops of an essential oil, chosen from those used in aromatherapy, to a base oil such as wheat germ or sunflower.

In the West, massage is done mostly on massage beds, while in the East a the futon or mat on the floor are pften used so as to make better use of the weight and the parts of the body of the massager in the execution of “pressures.” This is widely used in oriental massage techniques. In order to ensure the full benefits of a massage, the duration of the session must not be less than 30 minutes. Very rarely is it more than two hours. Special creams and oils too improve the effectiveness of treatment and the session should be conducted in an environment with proper temperature not to feel cold.

Anyone can receive a massage, with some caution regarding children as a lighter massage for them will be necessary, taking into account the fragility of their bones.

written by Deborah Giorno, SPA Manager

Ticinosuchus proudly presents itself

May 14th, 2014 | By Anna Klapper in Parco San Marco | No Comments »

Hi kids,

DinoI ‘m Ticinosuchus, the famous dinosaur from Ticino. There are lots of stories about me. Obviously my family and I were around a very long time ago but our little brothers and sisters have survived even to this day. Maybe you’ve already seen them at Parco San Marco? That’s right! They’re the little salamanders that run around all over the place or bask on the rocks in the sunshine. What’s more, the little turtles that drift around lazily in the fish pond are also related to me.

When the first fossilised dinosaur bones were found here over 200 years ago, it was thought that they were giant salamander bones. No-one knew at that time that we had existed so could not have known that they were our bones. The word ‘dinosaur’ translates as ‘terrifying lizard’. Scary, eh? I wouldn’t have frightened anybody, but many dinosaurs were alarmingly large. The Brachiosaurus, for example, was up to 16m high. A giraffe is already really very large compared to you, at 5 to 6m. Like you human beings, there were dinosaurs everywhere on Earth. Only we were there 230 million years ago. That’s so long ago, it was long before even your great-great-great-great-grandparents were alive.

NilkrokoSo that we get to know each other better, because we’ll be seeing each other all through the year at Parco San Marco, I will tell you a little bit more about myself. My favourite food was fish but I could also eat meat if necessary, as you can easily tell from my teeth. If you look at this and at my other bones, it might make you think of a crocodile and that’s quite right, because crocs are part of my family. I was also roughly the same size, about 3m long. Nevertheless, I was fast and quite agile. This is important when you have to catch your own food. My back and belly were covered with tough scales so I couldn’t easily be hurt. That’s why dinosaurs lived for a long time. Only illness or disease could kill us. If you want to know more about me, come and visit me at the Monte Giorgio Fossil Museum.ticinosuchus_empreintes

Till then, have fun trying to solve the Parco San Marco treasure map. My little family will accompany you safely here and there along the way through the grounds.

See you soon!