A palm-lined lake of the same name is the setting for Lugano, the largest city in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino in southern Switzerland. This is a city and region which is seated squarely in Mediterranean culture and lifestyle. But at the same time, Lugano is Switzerland’s third-largest banking and financial center, and is full of important precision and high-technology industry, as well as international schools.

But below the surface is another Lugano: the Lugano of people who speak a dialect among themselves, and an area which is so closely intertwined with neighboring Italy that it’s sometimes hard to know which side of the border you’re on!