Lugano, the taste of my dream holiday
After taking part in all the events of the incredible food & wine festival San Pellegrino Sapori Ticino, which hosted numerous star chefs, I learned everything there is to learn about good food (and enjoyed many splendid evenings – all entertaining, enlightening and above all delicious!). So now, while waiting for next year’s edition, going out for dinner means having to seek the cream of the crop – and in and around Lugano one is spoilt for choice. Yet the other day, choosing was easy. During the two-month-long festival, I visited Hotel Splendide Royal, Villa Principe Leopoldo, The View, Metamorphosis and many other restaurants, but I had left out one location for “pre-planned holidays”. So I booked a lakeside table at Swiss Diamond Hotel. I dressed up to enhance the holiday feeling, stepped onto the boat, stopped in Morcote and took a stroll to Vico Morcote. I also knew something new was planned for this summer: Next to in-house chef Egidio Iadonisi, Swiss Diamond is hosting star chef Andrea Bertarini (restaurant Concabella, Vacallo) and his culinary creations. The plan: aperitif with a view from the hotel’s rooftop and dinner right at the lake. Not bad, right?! I love food, so I didn’t leave out anything: while admiring the view from above, I savoured magnificent amuse-bouches that depicted a luscious garden of flavours and tastes. Total cruise ship feeling. I moved then to the restaurant close to the pool, where I was served a most spectacular dinner combining flavours of the sea in a blaze of colours that simply left me out of words. (And those who know me know how hard that is.) At this point, expecting anything more from an ordinary mid-July Thursday evening would seem quite difficult, hadn’t it been for the Longlake festival, which meant that everything was still possible. At the heart of Lugano I was about to experience a city transformed into one big stage: Countless people and extraordinary street artists had already poured onto the streets along the waterfront to attend the Buskers Festival. I danced, chatted and sang till late at night, almost feeling new to my own city. The same city I cross on foot every morning to go to work. Lugano is simply magical. One city, many faces. A home and unknown destination the like, where one’s heart basks in comfort and yet is still able to feel surprise.