I cigni di Lugano
Text Carlo Mazzoni
A group of swans has landed on the side of Lugano lake. Ten or so, perhaps even around twenty. They go in and out of the water, they alight on the grass, well-finished by the City’s gardeners: instead of a wild stretch under a desert spit, these swans have decided to take shelter on the lakeside in the city, not far from Louis Vuitton and Dior boutiques, overrunning the pedestrian walk, amidst benches and jetties for fishing boats, weeping willows and restaurants. The swans receive caresses – yes, though they are a bit shy– together with breadcrumbs which are thrown them by pedestrians. Such is the comfort found by those who arrive in the Swiss town, that the swans have thought of entering the streets of the centre: in the shops under the galleries, stopping at counters and stretch out their necks with all their typical composed elegance, to restart their stroll along the main street. I think it was the 17th November when the images of social and friendly swans, taken up with hearted discourses with enchanted children were published on Corriere del Ticino (the regional daily newspaper).
We got to know these swans: they were there, sitting in the sun amidst the flowerbeds, swinging among the chairs of the cafés. Everything shines in Lugano, everything is clean and with no dust. The journey has been worth it – as we have found our docking, in front of each swan, in a new hotel on the steep descent in the first rise of the hill: The View overlooks the enchanted city. At night, the distant lights of the bright street-lamps annoy the swans in their shadow – but from the window of The View the twinkling becomes a reflection in the water, muffled by the white clouds anchored amidst the Alps. Each dish features quality cuisine – pity that the dining room is too impersonal. Quite another thing for the bedrooms: the floor is made of shiny teak like on yachts, muntins on the walls leaving light to a tinted mirror. The indoor swimming pool – and a wall covered with rose bricks, from a pit of Himalaya pink salt: breathing the air that bounces off those bricks for thirty minutes corresponds to spending three days at the seaside. Slowly swinging or opening their wings and majesty, the swans will reach The View, sooner or later, comfortably alighting.