Lugano is a small-sized municipality and its population amounts to about 52000 inhabitants extending over an area slightly larger than 30 km2.
These small dimensions can be surprising if compared to the importance and international fame of the City. Structures and services are indeed designed for a population of about 100000 inhabitants, mainly distributed in the surrounding area. There are many and various reasons for deciding to spend a holiday in the Lake Lugano Region - the part of the canton Ticino south of Monte Ceneri that projects wedge-like into Lombardy. Easily accessible, it stands at a crossroads between Northern Europe and Italy. Historically and culturally, too, the region is a meeting place, knitting together different traditions and influences - an outstanding example of cross-fertilisation. In spite of - or possibly because of - root openness to outside influences, the region has maintained s distinct personality, whose unmistakeable features are readily identified.
Much of its success as a centre of tourism derives from its temperate climate, moderated by the presence of the lake, with mild winters and a high proportion of sunny days. The landscape has not been spoilt by excessive urbanisation, and its natural balance of mountain, hill and lowland makes it an agreeable place to be in any season, offering a wide range of things to do: hiking on Monte Tamaro, mountain climbing to heights of almost 2000 metres, bathing in lake and swimming pool, playing tennis or golf, sailing, windsurfing, water-skiing, walking through virtually unspoilt countryside and villages, as well as doing essential business and shopping. The character of the region has favoured development of the service sector, reflected in a rapid growth in financial and commercial activity, especially in Lugano and, to a lesser extent, Chiasso. The region is nowadays Switzerland's third major banking area,handling a large volume of international transactions.
Lugano and its hinterland would therefore appear to have a vocation for "civilised" tourism. The region's attractions are varied, and it offers support and sustenance to many cultural facilities and activities: museums devoted to ethnography and the visual arts; a constant stream of concerts and events featuring classical music, jazz, blues and rock; historic city centres, traditional domestic architecture and the modern offerings of now internationally famous "Ticino school", of which Mario Botta is the best known exponent. The true character of the region is expressed in _root combination of tradition and modernity.Certainly there is no lack of first-class facilities: banks, boutiques, department stores, hotels, restaurants, cafés and leisure centres. All the varied needs of modern tourism are fully met, whether you are looking for fashionable meeting places and night clubs or prefer to get away from it all and explore the region's hundreds of kilometres of well-maintained footpaths.