Overlooking the shores of lake Ceresio, its 63.000 sq. metres constitute the city’s green lung; it’s a quiet place where you can take nice walks and where it is impossible to remain unperturbed by the grandeur of century old trees.
In 1912, the estate was bought by the city of Lugano for more than 1.5million francs. Professor Angelo Pizzorno made this comment in Consiglio Comunale (council meeting) :“This is not crazy pointless luxury; it is a shrewd investment by a city whose moral and economic standing is due in great part to the assets of its natural beauty.”
In the 1920s Prof. Trosti from Milan conducted a survey of the trees and replaced many that were dead or dying. In 1935 the two buildings used for staff quarters were demolished and thousands of square metres of parkland were used to widen the road from Rivetta Tell as far as Piazza Castello, and to site the Kursaal theatre.
In 1945 the Municipio of Lugano asked the best landscape designers in Switzerland for designs for restructuring the park. Unfortunately their plans were filed away and completely forgotten.
In the 1960s a small barracks and stable to the north of the villa were demolished to make way for the new Plalzzo dei Congressi (congress house).
In 1985, for the first time a serious survey was conducted of the architecture and plants throughout the park. At the same time tree surgeons examined 670 trees to determine their age and state of health. From this study it emerged that 70% of the trees over 80 years old were in a bad way and there were not enough younger trees to replace them. At this point the work of healing the park began, according to the plans of the architects Mertens. Dangerous trees were removed and replaced, the underbrush was cleared of weeds, and paths were rebuilt to enhance the many vistas. Most of the replacement trees are oak (Quercus robur, rubra palustris, cerris, libani, turneri and lyrata) linden (Tilia ssp), plane (Platanus hybrida) and wild cherry trees (Prunus avium). The flower beds were dug up and redesigned, most of them near the villa. To maintain a floral display throughout the year several rare trees and shrubs were imported: palm trees (Phoenix ssp), olive trees (Olea europea) cork trees (Quercus suber) flowering dogwood ( Cornus ssp) camellias (Camellia ssp) azaleas (Rhododendron ssp) and even a camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora).
One of the major attractions of the park are the flowers whose colours harmonise and blend with the colours of the lake and the surrounding landscape. Every year the flowers and patterns of the flowerbeds are changed to tickle the curiosity of the local inhabitants who witness the changing of the seasons through the changing colours in the park.
There’s still a lot of work to do which should be completed over the next ten years, to make sure that this park will continue to be one of the most admired in Switzerland.
Open season: Summer 06-23 h / Winter 06-21 h
Entry to museum: Ticket. Monday closed
Suggested period: All the year
Lenght of visit: 1 h
Entry to park: Free
Guided visit: No
Dogs: On the lead.
Accessibility to bikes: No
Pic-nic area: No
Restaurant/Bar: Yes, Osteria del Porto
It's not allowed to pick up flowers and fruits
Access to the disabled
- Difficult access
- Restroom with wheelchair accessible (WC)
If the symbol is not present access is not guaranteed.
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