Map of Quinchao for The food on Lake Como is classic Lombard fare missoltini (dried fish), polenta, pizzoccheri (buckwheat tagliatelle) whereas Lugano’s cooking displays northern influence in its rich dressings, cured meats and Alpine cheeses. In art and architecture, the impact of the Italian Renaissance did seep northwards across the border, but from then to the late eighteenth century, while Europe’s nobility were busy putting up opulent villas on Como’s shores, Lugano was a backwater, under continuous occupation by a trans-Alpine Germanspeaking army. Lugano’s history is revolutionary, whereas Como’s is authoritarian. Today, one way to tell which side of the border you’re on is by the extent and type of new building, and by the upkeep of older buildings; Italy crumbles under the weight of history and poor urban planning, while Ticino has gained a reputation for world-class contemporary architecture. And armies of northerners continue to arrive. Lugano can seem tranquil in comparison with the battalions of tour-buses and camper vans that parade up and down Como’s shores all summer long. DAY?TRIPS BETWEEN LUGANO AND COMO With a bit of timetable planning, it’s easy to pop to and fro between Lake Lugano and Lake Como in a day. Frequent trains go from Lugano south to Como (40min). From there you can link to Menaggio, halfway up the lake, by bus C10 (hourly; 1hr 10min) or, much nicer, by boat (frequent; 2hr). Map of Quinchao 2016.
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