We left St. Moritz by way of an extremely steep and twisty mountain road. Driving down Alpine switchback roads in a giant tour bus gets the heart pumping at 8am.

We made a comfort stop in Chiavenno, Italy and had time to see the old city and bridges over the river. We stopped at Menaggio on the shores of Lake Como and sat by the water – it was so beautiful; no wonder George Clooney owns a home there!

By lunchtime we arrived in Lugano, which is in the Italian part of Switzerland. We had lunch at an outdoor restaurant in the main square. Aunt Pat, Amy and Laura ate at the restaurant the last time they were in Lugano and recommended it for the pizza and people-watching. After lunch we walked around the city streets and down the lakeshore to the Parco Civico. The gardens were breathtaking and the view was perfect.

Before dinner we rode the cog rail up Mount San Salvatore. The ride itself was fun, but the view once we got to the top was amazing. We could see almost all of Lake Lugano spread out below us. A small church said atop the mountain, just a short hike up from the main observation area. Then you could climb up on the church’s roof too. The view was worth it, but the Biblical-scale swarm of big black flies on the roof meant we couldn’t stay very long.

After dinner Amy, Mom and I walked from our hotel in Paradiso around the lake back to Lugano. We saw the bust of George (Giorgio!) Washington, a neat rhino sculpture and beautiful views of the lake and surrounding cities lit up at night.