With Alpine backdrops, sparkling lakes and medieval hearts, these Swiss cities rank among some of the most picturesque destinations in Europe
Dramatically positioned on a glittering blue lake with mountains towering around, Lugano is a stunner. If arriving by train, take the little funicular down into the centre and soak up the rarefied air of the wealthy Italianate streets. Head 500 metres east through the elegant Giardini Pubblici to Castagnola, to pick up the Sentiero dell’olivo path, which leads 3.5km through shoreline olive groves to Gandria, a pretty cluster of houses clinging to the hillside just shy of the Italian border. It’s an enchanting walk (though beware Lycra-clad high-achieving Luganesi pounding past on their lunch break power jog) to a timewarp village with good lunch options and a convenient, scenic ferry ride back into town.