Lago di Lugano – a beautiful lake in the Lombardy Alps

Three-quarters of Lago di Lugano are spread in Switzerland in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, which is the southernmost canton of this country. The rest of lake belongs to the neighboring Italy, to the Lombardy region. The total area of the lake is 48.7 km2 and its maximum depth is 288 meters.

Its steep banks resemble another lake located in Switzerland – the Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee). If you would like to see this beautiful lake from the above, you can do so from the hills of Monte Brè and Monte San Salvatore, where you can get by cable car.

Lago di Lugano, Lombardy, Italy
Lago di Lugano, Lombardy, Italy by Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble

Lago di Lugano is a beautiful lake in the Lombardy Alps, situated at an altitude of 270 meters above the sea level. This lake is named after the city of Lugano that sits on the shores on the Swiss part.

Although Lago di Lugano is not large in general, but is characterized by diversity. On its shores you can find mountains alternating with fields. Lago di Lugano was formed in Ice Age when two glaciers collided.

As a result was a creation of extremely rugged shape. The lake drains via the Tresa river into Lago Maggiore.

Lake Lugano, Lombardy, Italy
Lake Lugano, Lombardy by Miranda Wood

Resorts of Lago di Lugano

Lavena Ponte Tresa

Lavena Ponte Tresa is a picturesque village located on the Italian western tip of Lake Lugano, about 12 kilometres away from the city of Lugano.

Lago di Lugano, Ticino, Lombardy, Italy
Lago di Lugano, Ticino, Lombardy, Italy by Rilaak


Osteno is another picturesque village situated on the southern shore, in the northeastern part of Lake Lugano, about 7 km from Porlezza. From here you can organize trips to Belvedere, or Monte Generoso.

Osteno, Lake Lugano, Lombardy, Italy
Osteno, Lake Lugano, Lombardy by GregLaneGawler

Nearby Lake Como with its favorite resorts such as Menaggio and Belaggio can also be the option for a visit. If you would like to taste the local specialties you will definitely need to go to a restaurant known as the Grottos.

You can also visit the city of Gandria in Switzerland with its famous smugglers’ museum. Osteno, thanks to its location, is an ideal starting point for excursions to many places of northern Italy.

Gandria, Lake Lugano, Switzerland
Gandria, Lake Lugano, Switzerland by Miranda Wood


Porlezza is a charming village situated on the southern shore of Lago di Lugano. Porlezza is the main resort of Valsolda (valley region), consisting of 9 picturesque villages, located on a hill in the southern part of the lake Lago di Lugano.

Porlezza enthralls visitors with its rich history, numerous monuments, and charming scenery. It is ideal place for a perfect summer vacation. While here you can try sailing boats, surfing or water skiing. Numerous mountain trails and tracks for mountain bikes are suitable also for more active visitors.

Porlezza, Lago di Lugano, Italy
Porlezza, Lago di Lugano, Italy by Pibroch

Porto Ceresio

Porto Ceresio is a well-known and typical resort located on the Italian side of the lake Lago di Lugano. It is a lovely village, its convenient location and panoramic views make it a perfect place for spending your vacation.

Porto Ceresio is also a good starting point for exploring other Italian places and cities, such as Varese or Milan.

Porto Ceresio, Lago Lugano, Lombardy, Italy
Porto Ceresio, Lago Lugano, Lombardy by Luca Terzaroli

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