They say that Monte Brè area above Lugano is Switzerland's sunniest. It offers a wonderful view of the Alps and the Monte Rosa as it disappears into the Lugano Bay, dominated by Monte San Salvatore. Monte Brè (933 meters) is accessible with the funicular leaving from Lugano-Cassarate and is the ideal place for an excursion between art and nature. The charming village of Brè, 15-20 minutes from the funicular's arrival station, was in fact the residence of numerous artists who left an interesting heritage.
Itinerary: From the Mount to the Village (2h, see map)
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.
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. You can admire Birò's work 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.