Europe's Secret Hot Spots
Courtesy of Villa Castagnola
The capital city of Lugano is also the spiritual home of Italians in Switzerland, which adds a sexy slouch to an otherwise buttoned-up country. True, there is a Michelin-starred restaurant (the Galleria Arté al Lago), and Ticino is only a motorboat ride from the paparazzi-happy Lake Como region, but because this is technically Switzerland, the trains always run on time (to the ticking of Patek Philippe watches), and a politeness and white-glove service perseveres. Spend your nights in the Villa Castagnola, the former residence of the czars on the shores of Lake Lugano, and you’ll be instantly initiated into the lifestyle of long lunches, boat trips to the lake, and perfectly toned guests sunning themselves in the private gardens. Hiking and biking are popular activities, and there just happens to be Alpine skiing up the hill.