A visit to Lavena, a small town on the Italian side of Lake Lugano, between Brusimpiano and Ponte Tresa. And just metres — across the Lavena Narrows, or stretto di Lavena — from Caslano, in the Canton Ticino, on the Swiss side of the lake. Just 30 minutes drive from Varese, Italy, and just a little more from Lugano, Lavena is a pleasant place to visit for lunch. Indeed, the lakeshore is lined with restaurants, bars and pizzerie. Alternatively, come for an ice-cream, and a leisurely stroll, in the afternoon. The only thing missing is the crowds. This is the part of Lake Lugano that few people know about. And you will keep it to yourselves won’t you?

Cool streets, 15 August 2009, Ferragosto morning, we head for the lakeside
Slight list to starboard for this front door, or is it my eyes?

Keep walking downtown, the lake is just 200 metres
from the main road, but a million miles away
Pretty courtyard, traditional farmbuildings
converted to apartments
First glimpse of the Lake Lugano,
with Switzerland across the way.
View of Lake Lugano, boats foreground, Ponte Tresa background.
Distances deceptive, you can walk from Lavena to PT,
although we did not — this time.
Sheer cliffs on the Swiss side of Lake Lugano,
mere metres away across the narrow Stretto di Lavena.
The Lake Lugano cruise boat comes through here daily
— an impressive site, if only because it seems so big.
Mike on the lakeside walk, at Lavena, Lake Lugano
on Ferragosto morning, 15 August 2009
Hotel Ristorante Fonte dei Fiori, at Torrazza,
a hamlet of Caslano, Canton Ticino, Switzerland.
Seen across the Straits of Lavena, Lake Lugano,
mere metres shore to shore.
To get there, though, you have to drive up to
Ponte Tresa, Italy, cross the bridge over the
–Tresa — river and, with it,
the frontier into Ponte Tresa,
Switzerland, and then follow the signs.
It’s a good 30-minute drive. For more on the hotel and
its amenities see
Lavena, Lake Lugano, pleasure boats out on
the morning of 15 August 2009, Ferragosto.
The shore is lined with restaurants,
whose lake-side terrace tables are fully booked!
The church of Saints Peter and Paul, Lavena,
Lake Lugano

Another view across the Straits of Lavena on

Lake Lugano, Italy on one side and

Switzerland on the other

On the lakeside walk of Lavena, a view of the restaurants
and bars that attract visitors from many miles around.
Mike checks out a menu of one of the many
lakeside restaurants at Lavena, on the Italian
side of Lake Lugano. It’s 15 August, Ferragosto,
and everywhere is booked solid. We’ll come
back another day!
As the signs says, the restaurant is fully-booked.
Happy Ferragosto!
A pretty house on the Swiss shores of Lake Lugano,
the other side of the Lavena straits, lo stretto di Lavena.
And narrow it is too, as you can see.
Mere metres, while by road it’s a good thirty
minutes to get there. The town is called Caslano,
if you are interested.
The steeple of the church of Saints Peter and
Paul, at Lavena, on the Italian side of Lake
Lugano, across the way from Caslano,
in the Canton Ticino, Switzerland.
Lush gardens, tall trees and steep cliffs across
the lake from Lavena. This is Torrazza,
a hamlet of Caslano. Do people live here all year,
or is this just a holiday home? We’ll have to come back
and see, won’t we?
Wrought-iron gates provide eye-catching detail
in Lavena, on Lake Lugano. The town has about 5,000 inhabitants,
and its many lake-side restaurants attract many day
visitors both from Italy and from Switzerland, the border
being about 5km away.
Delightful decorations for this house in Lavena,
on Lake Lugano, not to be confused with Laveno,
which is on Lake Maggiore!
A terracotta statue can be seen half-way up
the side of the steeple of the church of
Saints Peter and Paul, in Lavena. An unusual feature
— needs looking into.

(C) 2009 Roberta Kedzierski

For more info on Lavena and  nearby Ponte Tresa, see

For more pictures of Lavena and nearby Ponte Tresa, see

Some lovely images of Lavena in the Fall

If you decide to stay at Caslano, on the Swiss side, look at this review at TripAdvisor