The small park of Villa Saroli is located in the centre of Lugano at Via Stefano Franscini No. 9, two minutes' walk north of the bus terminal. The park is a green island for children and for all those who want to enjoy some peace and quiet in the midst of the traffic and hectic activities to which the heart of Lugano is subjected. Inside the garden you can find numerous benches where you can rest in a peaceful and natural atmosphere. In addition, there is a playground for younger visitors, which is safe and far from the dangers of the road, and two small pools of water that offer coolness from the heatwave and fun in summer.
he park is not only a recreational area but also a small botanical heritage; in fact, its varied flora represents a typical example of subtropical vegetation. In the northern part of the park, a beautiful 20th-century-style Orangerie was built, whose arched windows are flanked by supporting columns of tufa stone, entirely covered with fragrant jasmine plants. Today, the Orangerie is used as an exhibition space for temporary art exhibitions.
The history of the park is closely linked to that of the villa. Before it became the property of the Saroli family, the villa was known to the Luganese as Villa Enderlin, named after the family that had it built in 1904, by architect Giuseppe Pagani. The building is an original creation in Gothic-Renaissance style. The interior features rich decorative elements in Art Nouveau and English 'arts & crafts' style, while the exterior features a corner tower with a roof of unusual shape for Lugano and a terrace with Art Nouveau-inspired wrought-iron railings. On the north side of the villa is a valuable greenhouse - Orangerie with large vaulted windows, open on the south façade, completely covered with fragrant evergreen jasmine. In terms of vegetation, the park is dotted with beautiful century-old trees such as the evergreen magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), silver cedar (Cedrus atlantica glauca), Gingko biloba, Liquidambar and other valuable conifers. A rare specimen of Californian laurel and a group of old varieties of camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas and Cornus florida can also be admired.
The Municipality of Lugano purchased the property in 1961 for almost 5 million francs: from 1962, the city could thus dispose of an important green area for leisure and recreation. The most suitable function for the villa immediately appeared to be that of a museum with a historical imprint, but it was not until thirty years later that the building became a museum. In the meantime, it is used by some offices of the municipal administration
In the 1970s, the best known landscape architect of the time, Willy Neukom, designed the play area together with the little swimming pool.In 1974 Gastone Gambin designed the interior stained glass window depicting the coats of arms of all the Patricians of Lugano. Between 1992 and 1993 the villa was renovated and turned into the city History Museum. Art exhibitions are held regularly in the villa, throughout the park and in the Orangerie.
- PARKS AND GARDENS Botanical gardens , City Parks