Carona is a charming village located at the foot of the Monte San Salvatore, on a hill above Lugano. It prides itself in an exceptional historic and artistic heritage: the richness of the outstanding religious buildings are almost equal in quality to the many dwellings from the past. These are evidence of the work of local craftsmen (architects, decorators, painters and sculptors) that, between the 15th and 18th centuries worked all over Europe leaving a trace of their mastery along the way. Returning to their birthplace they would embellish their villages with fine buildings and prestigious decorations.
Itinerary: Carona (3h, see map)
Carona's roots can be traced back to a distant past. Already in the Middle Ages it had acquired a certain renown, as shown by the construction of the Torello church by a Bishop of Como. A walk through the village allows you to admire part of this historical legacy. At Carona's Northern entrance you will find the parish church dedicated to the Holy Saints Giorgio e Andrea, a Renaissance building preserving precious frescoes. Next to the church you will see the beautiful 16th-century communal loggia.
Strolling through the little alleys you can admire different buildings and noble houses with well-preserved graffiti, stuccoes and frescoes. Just outside the city centre stands the church of Santa Marta (usually closed), that belonged to the namesake congregation. From here, a little trail leads to the Baroque sanctuary of the Madonna d'Ongero, peacefully located in the woods. Still a destination for pilgrims today, the church is finely decorated. Along the access road, a series of chapels of the Via Crucis welcome visitors.
Following the indicated trail, in some 20 minutes you can reach the Romanesque church of Santa Maria di Torello built under the instructions of the Bishop of Como Guglielmo della Torre in 1217 and which used to have an adjacent convent. The property, now transformed into a farm, is private and cannot be visited. A place of astonishing beauty, where you can still admire the imposing building decorated with a number of fine details, such as the gate and some fresco remains.
In the summer, Carona is equipped with a pleasant public pool immersed in the hill's green woods. For those of you that enjoy walking, we recommend an agreeable stroll from Carona to the Alpe Vicania through the San Grato Park that offers some superb panoramic views on the bay of Lugano.
From 1st of April to 28th of October, every first Saturday of the month, a guided visit around the village, to get an insight into the history, culture and famous artists of Carona. At the end it is possible, for those who want it, to continue with a tour of the botanical garden Parco San Grato. For information and reservation please contact Lugano Tourist Office (phone 058 220 65 05 - firstname.lastname@example.org)