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GENEVA :: LUCERNE :: LUGANO
Situated on Lake Geneva and dazzling from the very first glimpse, the city of Geneva has it all—a cobblestoned Old Town, immaculate parks and promenades, charming sidewalk cafes, and true international flair. Its welcoming atmosphere makes it easy to immerse yourself…marvel at the fantastic Jet d'Eau, the world's tallest fountain. Check the time at the remarkable Flower Clock. Visit St. Peter's Cathedral, where Protestant Reformation leader John Calvin gave fiery sermons in the 16th century. Savor the French, German, and Italian influences over a hearty Swiss meal. From a tour of the U.N.'s Palace of Nations to a cable-car ride for breathtaking views of Mount Blanc, Geneva is sure to impress!
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Geneva. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Geneva, Switzerland insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
On a one-hour tour, learn about the history of the Palais des Nations, and see some of its important rooms including “The Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room”, decorated by famous artist Miquel Barcelò; “The Salle des Pas Perdus”, from which you can see the Armillary Sphere and the monument commemorating the conquest of outer space; and the Council Chamber, where many important historical negotiations have taken place, with murals by José Maria Sert.
A lovely 19th-century Russian Orthodox church topped with golden onion domes and filled with icons from the 16th to 20th centuries as well as treasures donated by the Russian imperial family.
Considered to be Geneva's cultural epicenter with the Rath Museum, Conservatory of Music and Grand Theatre, all located on this historical square near Geneva's old town.
“A village in the city.” This ancient market town that formerly belonged to the kingdom of Sardinia, is a Genevan version of “la dolce vita”. Its streets lined with boutiques, food shops, galleries, and artisan workshops exude a Bohemian atmosphere. Visitors appreciate the lively ambience on its leafy squares.
A medieval arcade that was built in 1625 as a granary but transformed into an arsenal in the early 18th century. It now houses the State Archives (les Archives d’Etat). Visitors come here to see the five old cannons in the arched courtyard. On the inner wall behind the cannon there are some murals by Alexandre Cingria from 1949 that show historical moments of Geneva.
Also known as MAMCO, located in an old factory building, is a dynamic museum on the cutting edge of modern art in Europe. Supported by a stable of artists from the nearby Centre of Contemporary Art, MAMCO constantly reinvents itself, updating not only its exhibits, but also its interior construction three times per year. The works of Marcel Duchamp, the inspiration for the museum, are on display year round.
Emotion, discovery, reflection, this museum offers a unique opportunity to enter into the history of humanitarian action. Three separate areas, each developed by a well-known exhibition architect, allow visitors to explore three major challenges in today’s world: defending human dignity, restoring family links, reducing natural risks.
Trace the evolution of watch-making in Geneva from its humble origins through to its current pinnacle as the world-leader in the industry. The museum presents an evocative collection of timepieces dating back as far as the early 16th century, demonstrating the artistic and engineering prowess of Geneva’s past and present masters. Modern masterpieces from Patek Philippe’s latest collections are also on display, as well as music boxes, pistols and other historic items spread over the museum’s four floors.
A stone’s throw away from the elegant Place Neuve in an exceptionally beautiful park, Europe’s most important protestant reformers are honored with four giant statues, reminding us of Geneva’s important role in the history of religions.
Switzerland was historically a country of farmers, so traditional Swiss dishes tend to be plain and made from simple ingredients, such as potatoes and cheese. Raclette (melted cheese usually served with ham and potatoes), rosti (potatoes traditionally cooked – first boiled, then peeled, grated and fried in butter until golden), cheese fondue, eaten by dipping small pieces of bread or potatoes in melted cheese.
The very embodiment of a storybook Swiss town, Lucerne enjoys an enviable position between Lake Lucerne and the snowcapped Alps. It's a delightful collection of whimsical fountains, half-timbered houses, and covered bridges, and is home to the poignant Lion Monument and charming frescoed Chapel Bridge, the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe. Stunning panoramic views await from the medieval lookout towers that are part of the city's ancient fortified wall, or if you choose to ascend towering Mount Pilatus by cable car. In the evening, hearty traditional fare of veal, rösti potatoes, raclette, or cheese fondue is easy to find—the perfect ending of a perfect day in memorable Lucerne.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Lucerne. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Lucerne, Switzerland insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
I have been welcoming guests to Lucerne for many years, and love to meet people from other countries and cultures. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, and typical Swiss hobbies such as skiing, walking in the mountains, and taking photos of our beautiful scenery.
Enjoy a lakeside promenade at sunset and relax over an aperitif or walk up to the city ramparts with their nine towers. The Zytturm tower is well worth a visit, housing the city’s oldest clock, built in 1535 and enjoys the privilege of striking the hour a minute before all the city’s other clocks. Your Local Host will have suggestions for other routes to discover more of this charming town.
Follow in Mark Twain’s footsteps and enjoy a ride up Mt. Rigi, known as the Queen of Swiss Mountains. Try the world’s first open air cable car on Mt. Stanserhorn, with marvelous views of the Swiss Alps and lakes, and a revolving restaurant at the summit. Walk along the cliff path on Mt. Burgenstock, catch the Hammetschwand Lift up to the highest point in the city.
Architecture buffs might enjoy stopping by the Spreuer Bridge completed in 1408, the Renaissance-style Town Hall, the contemporary Railroad Station, and the Concert Hall, by French architect Jean Nouvel, for examples of the town’s architectural styles through the ages.
Due to its location outside the city center, Dreilinden Park with its fairytale castle is an allure for those looking for relaxation. It is reminiscent of an English park, where artificial ruins have been strategically positioned about the grounds. It is one of Lucerne's largest parks and also features a music conservatory, marble sculptures and fine views.
Anyone interested in locomotion through the ages will love the Swiss Transport Museum; it also has an IMAX cinema, and Planetarium. Visit the Glacier Gardens near the Lion Monument, for a fascinating glimpse into history 20 million year’s old, discovered by chance; see Swiss wood carving mastery in the historic villa, and have fun in the amazing labyrinth of mirrors. The Bourbaki Panorama houses one of the world's few panorama paintings still in existence. Inside the round building, you will find the impressive circular painting which Edouard Castres painted in 1881.
See works of Picasso and Paul Klee in the Rosengut Collection; stroll through the Hans Erni Museum located on the grounds of the Swiss Museum of Transport – standing out in the complex with its transparent hexagonal form; or visit the Museum of History located in the ancient armoury.
For music lovers, an insight into Wagner’s principal works at his home on Lake Lucerne, with a treasure of instruments and mementos. Or ask your Local Host what’s on at the Culture and Congress Centre (KKL), a multi-functional building with the Museum of Art and concert hall that is esteemed for its high-profile acoustics.
Take an unforgettable journey on Lake Lucerne in an historic Paddle Wheel Steamer. Or for another fun way to see Lucerne from the lake, try a self-propelled pedalo boat.
Drop by the Farmers Market “Wochenmarkt” for fruit, vegetables, flowers, meats, dairy, and unique products like fresh pasta, spices, herbs, and ethnic fare. Or stop by the Fish Market “Fischmarkt” to see displays of fresh fish. Typical souvenirs are chocolate, watches, embroidered clothing, household linen, wood carved items, cuckoo clocks and music boxes. Some of Lucerne’s food specialties include the “Lozärner Chügelipastetli”, a puff-pastry shell filled with diced veal and mushrooms in a creamy sauce, “Älpler Magronen", alpine macaroni with apple slices, “À la cheesemaker” contains bread, wine and cheese, and local pear bread for a sweet treat.
With its palm-trees, sunny piazzas, and Mediterranean style, subtropical Lugano feels more like Italy than Switzerland. Built on a site that's been inhabited since the Stone Age, modern Lugano hugs a picturesque bay on the northern side of sparkling Lake Lugano. Here you can shop among the arcades of historic Via Nassa...marvel at the breathtaking beauty as you cruise across the lake…relax with an espresso on 200-year-old Piazza Riforma…join in the flurry of activity at the vibrant Lugano market…stroll along the lakeside promenade, surrounded by fragrant camellia and magnolia blooms…or simply wrap yourself in dolce far niente, the sweetness of doing nothing.
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