INTERVIEW WITH ...Marco Sorgesa, Director of the City of Lugano Tourist Department

Where did the idea come from to unite all the events and meetings linked to the Christmas celebrations into one big event?

For a long time, Lugano has been offering its inhabitants and tourists a series of events that enhance the festivity period, including the Christmas market and the Christmas tree in Piazza Riforma. Three years ago, by popular demand and thanks to the contribution of the city, the quality of the offering was substantially enriched with new events all gathered around one image, that of the little girl Susi, which now acts as a motif for all the events which will take place over the thirty seven days between the 1st of December and the 6th of January.

What does “Natale in piazza” offer?

In addition to the large Christmas tree and the little markets (actually two, one starting in Piazza Riforma on the 1st of December with the little wooden chalet-shops and the other, larger one, from the 15th to the 24th, throughout the entire pedestrian area of the city centre), there will be light projections onto the building that’s home to the municipality (taking place this year between the 17th and the 31st of December around two different themes), the ice rink, events dedicated to Jazz music and Gospel, gastronomy and, obviously, the large New Year’s Eve party.

Christmas is a magical celebration for children. Can you tell us more about what’s aimed at them?

Firstly the lighting of the Christmas tree in Piazza Riforma. They will experience all the charm of the celebrations: thanks to their warmth and participation, a special ‘clap-o-meter’ will decide the exact moment when the tree is lit. Afterwards, a snack will be offered. A space which is going to undoubtedly appeal to mothers and children is the ice rink in Piazza Manzoni, featuring some cheerful open-air sport and the possibility of a hot chocolate close by. For the smallest, some craft activities will be organised, including coloured-candle making. In addition, classical animations featuring fairy tales and music, together with Susi the mascot who, this year, will bring along some friends...

The perfume of mulled wine and biscuits: in the square, good food won’t be lacking.

Indeed. The chalets there will offer traditional festivity flavours, from the sweets to raclette and hot wine, and also some quality tastings of produce from the Ticino region offered by expert and creative chefs.

Is the New Year’s Eve party still the 'most-anticipated’ for young people?

The wait for the New Year and the celebrations in the square are moments which are appreciated by young people as well as adults. The atmosphere at midnight, marking the passage from one year to another, is special, a mix of cheerfulness and emotion. The light show and the music will accompany the countdown and will guarantee a lot of fun for everyone! In addition, Lugano will wake up to a rich programme for the 1st of January, including the traditional parade, a concert with a philharmonic band, speeches from the authorities and an aperitif offered to all.

A rich and varied programme which that has achieved great success in recent years...

Of course, and we believe that this third year of “Natale in piazza” will be very much appreciated as well, as it’s going to be enriched by new ideas and because events are free, allowing everyone to take part, whether local or visitor, adult and child. In addition, tourists will be able to take advantage of the extremely convenient Rail Away offers!
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Piazza Indipendenza 4
6900 Lugano
Tel.: +41 58 866 66 30
Fax: +41 58 866 66 39