On Friday the weather was the complete opposite to Thursday, gloriously bright and warm. Marco and Soraia took us for a drive around the Lugano area, starting with a trip part way up Mount Brè for some stunning views over Lugano and Lake Lugano and then down to lakeside Gandria.
From Brè we drove down to the delightful lakeside village of Gandria on the north western shore of Lake Lugano.
This quaint little place clings to the steep lake shore just inside the Swiss / Italian border. The village was originally higher up the mountain side but apparently was moved to the lake shore in about the 14th century. Always rather isolated the area was known for its olives. In my ignorance I had never associated Alpine lakes with such a Mediterranean crop! A harsh winter in 1709 killed off the trees but they have recently been replanted and the foot path between Lugano and Gandria is known as the Olive Path.
Gandria also produced silk and was a centre for smuggling due to high Swiss customs dues. Apparently there is a Customs Museum in Cantine di Gandria on the lake shore opposite Gandria which, according to Wikipedia, exhibits a submarine which was used to smuggle salami. Regrettably we never got to see the Salami Smuggling Submarine!
Gandria was a lovely suprise. Picture postcard quaint and the sort of place to enjoy lunch overlooking the lake, but we were off to spend the afternoon in Bellinzona.