About Monte San Salvatore
Available: March - November.
Swiss Travel Pass: FREE to the funicular station then 15 Sfr
Ticino Ticket: FREE to the funicular station then 24 Sfr
Half Fare Card: 5 Sfr from Lugano to the funicular station then 15 Sfr
You can easily spot Monte San Salvatore from Lugano centre, with its distinctive shape. The funicular from Lugano Paradiso takes 15 minutes to reach the summit, which lies at 912m above sea level. Here you can enjoy a breathtaking views of Lake Lugano, the local mountains and the higher Swiss Alps. Try the restaurant with its beautiful panoramic terrace.
The funicular dates from 1890 (although it has been modernised since then) and is divided into two sections of 830m. The first section departs from Paradiso and has a gradient of up to 37%, while the second section is up to 61%. The track is not electrified and the two carriages are linked via a steel towing cable.
On arrival at the funicular station, you can ascend the stairs to the viewing area and be rewarded with stunning views in all directions. The deep blue of the lake and the lush green of the mountains make for a truly beautiful sight and it is said that on a clear day you can see all the way to Milan.
The Vetta is a restaurant with its own panoramic veranda and an outdoor terrace. Enjoy a Mediterranean lunch with a view, or simply a cool drink.
The church and museum
Perched at the top of the mountain is a centuries old church - a fascinating sight. Even when the church is closed you can climb the outside stairs for views from its roof.
There is also a museum (limited opening hours) which has artistic and geological exhibits as well as a room dedicated to the research of lightning which was carried out here.
Souvenirs are available to buy in the Corner of Curiosities.
Follow the marked 'nature trail', which is about 2km long and offers several different viewing points over the lake as you proceed. It is a gentle walk, suitable for famiies. There are also more challenging hiking routes for the more serious walker.
From Lugano, you could take a leisurely walk to the funicular base station which is located in the neighbouring village of Paradiso. You can also make your way by bus, or one stop on the train.
The funicular offers wheelchair access.