They say that the Monte Brè area above Lugano is Switzerland's sunniest. It offers a wonderful scenic view of the Alps and the Monte Rosa, disappearing into the Lugano Bay, dominated by Monte San Salvatore. The summit of Monte Brè (933 meters) is accessible by the funicular railway leaving from Lugano-Cassarate and is the ideal place for an excursion amongst art and nature. The charming village of Brè, 15-20 minutes walk from the funicular's arrival station, has in fact been the residence of numerous artists who left an interesting heritage.
In about twenty minutes the funicular brings you from Lugano-Cassarate to the summit of Monte Brè going through the villages of Suvigliana, Albonago, Aldesago and Brè, all very sought-after panoramic residential areas because of their privileged location. The departure station is connected to Lugano's city centre by a public bus.
Itinerary: From the Mount to the Village (2h, see map)
At the summit, beyond the breathtaking panorama, there's a little church and two restaurants, Osteria della Funicolare and Ristorante Vetta, both equipped with terraces offering a beautiful view. A short walk (trail and stairway, about 20 minutes) descends to the centre of Brè, at 785 meters elevation. Once a famer's village, it has become a desired holiday and residence location, also appreciated by representatives of the arts and culture. Artists Pasquale Gilardi known as "Lelèn" and Luigi Taddei (both from Brè), Swiss painter Wilhelm Schmid (1892-1971) and Hungarian Josef Birò (1887-1975) all lived here.
In the house where lived Wilhelm Schmid there is a museum dedicated to the work of this painter, who was an important exponent of artistic-cultural movement arisen in Germany in the Twenties and called “Neo-objectivity”. Birò's work can be admired along the “Via Crucis“ and his contemporary frescoes in the parish church. Outside the church, a Luigi Taddei painting of San Cristoforo can also be admired. A tangible sign of the interest this little village arouses is also visible through the artistic decor that embellishes it. We're referring to around twenty works of contemporary artists including Aligi Sassu, Armando Losa, Gianfredo Camesi, Emilio Rissone, Mariapia Borgnini and Fra Roberto Pasotti, splendidly inserted in the village's centre, between the little squares and the paved alleys.
A guided tour on the Monte Brè is organised, every Friday, from May to October. For information and reservation please contact Lugano Tourist Office (phone 058 220 65 06 - firstname.lastname@example.org)