After spending three days in Vernazza, Italy, one of the five villages of the Cinque Terre, we took the train to Lugano, Switzerland. And the contrast between the two places seemed glaring.
Vernazza is small, intimate, friendly and flirtatious. Fun loving and fun seeking, the locals seemed to live an unpretentious good life. Our flat was right on the piazza above the cafe and had no air conditioning. So our shuttered windows were always open. The smells of grilled fish and the sounds of lively Italian banter would waft into our apartment. And since the locals enjoyed eating and drinking till the wee hours of the morning, we may not fall asleep 3:30 a.m., lying in bed, feeling both amused and abused by the situation.
Lugano, in contrast, seemed ritzy and glitzy in an understated, Swiss way. The city and the lake are jaw-droppingly beautiful. There’s not a speck of trash to be found. The ferries, the trains, and the buses all run on time. It’s a very beautiful and a very rich city. So I shouldn’t have been surprised that our bill for pizza and beer was over 82 francs.
Since eating out is expensive here, we stayed at the Hotel Walter au Lac. It includes a breakfast buffet. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the hotel or with the breakfast.
The Hotel Walter is a gracious, old hotel. To economize, we had the family room. Actually, the family room was two bedrooms and a bath, plenty of room for the four of us.
We had bought the Swiss travel pass so we spent a day touring the lake by boat and taking the funicular up to Mount Bre. You can catch the ferry directly across from the Hotel Walter. It was an affordable, laid back day.
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- Also Known As:
- Walter Au Lac Lugano
- Walter Au Lac Hotel