One of the things I love about living here is that there are so many other countries just a stone’s throw away. For example, France and Switzerland. Just a three-hour train ride and I am transported to another world that feels more like thousands of miles from Italy and not mere hundreds. Lugano, although Italian speaking, seems to have nothing else Italian about it. The orderly gardens, lack of graffiti, zigzagging scooters and honking horns was enough for me to think I had landed in Paradise.
Lugano has a small lake that is as clear and calm as glass. Beautiful white swans drifted by with their heart-shaped wings making me feel like I could lay my head down on their soft pillow of feathers. My friend ‘Jersey Girl’, took me around a bit and showed me the town. It’s small and quaint, I liked it. The streets were so clean that it was shocking.
I managed to take a few photos before realizing that I left my memory card inside my computer at home! Oh well, I have a gorgeous close-up shot of a swan on my mobile phone and managed to take these few shots on the back-up memory in my camera (those Sony people must have anticipated a bird brain like me when they inserted that back-up memory).
On Sunday, we wandered over to the Hermann Hesse Museum in Montagnola. I’ll admit, I have never read any of his books, but now I am intrigued to. I also really liked his art and bought some note cards and book marks.
My only mishap (because with me there will always be one or two), was that I had a minor panic on the train coming over. The Swiss Officials were swarming my train and asking people for their documents (FYI: Switzerland is not part of the European Union) and although I had my Passport with me, I realized that I had only a photocopy of my Permesso di Soggiorno. You know, that paper that took me 2 years to get! I was not so much worried about getting into Switzerland, but more concerned about not getting out! Don’t get me wrong, I like it there, but I don’t think my friend wanted a guest that had suddenly become an unwanted roommate either. Luckily, they passed me by and the Italian’s didn’t even bother to board my train on the way back (it was late Sunday and I am pretty sure there was a soccer match on).
I had also forgotten to change my money. The Swiss use Francs. They will accept your Euro, but you get Francs back in change and a lousy exchange rate.
Arriving back to Genova I could once again feel the pulse of Italy throbbing under my feet. Lugano is nice, but almost too perfect in a way. Italy is chaotic and crazy, but it’s just the way I like her.