The Lake of Lugano
Lago di Lugano, Ceresio, or constitutes, together with the 8000 surround, the greatest natural resource in the Region.
Its unique shape appears like a composition of different lakes and gulfs around Porlezza, Lugano, Capolago, Agno and Ponte Tresa.
The lake of Lugano extends 35 km from Porlezza to Ponte Tresa, with a maximum width of 3 km between Lugano and Cavallino and an average width of slightly over one kilometre. Its maximum depth is 279 metres, situated between Gandria and the opposite shore. The depth decreases considerably towards south, in particular from Campione towards the gulf of Agno and of Ponte Tresa.
Light, periodic winds called “breva” and “vento di tramontana” (north wind) blow across the lake, with at times also sudden fast and strong winds called “Porlezzina” blowing from the Gulf of Porlezza.
The steep mountain slopes plunge boldly into the water, allowing for panoramic views over the lake and the entire region from countless higher elevations: Monte Brè, Monte Boglia, Castagnola, San Salvatore, Sighignola, Monte San Giorgio, but also from other ones further away from the lake, like from Val Capriasca, Denti della Vecchia – for ever changing landscapes creating a profound emotional impact. From Monte Baro, the mountain that together with the Cavaldrossa and the Camoghé wrap up Lugano and its valleys in the north, on a clear day the shiny golden Madonna statue on Milan’s Dome can be seen with bare eyes.
The lake offers all water sports: swimming, water skiing, fishing, canoeing, sailing and wind surfing.
The Cassarate basin
The current basin (which is limited by channelization river management schemes) is 18.3 km long with an average gradient of 7%. It has only one tributary, the Capriasca River, but many streams feed the water-way. As it flows down to the lake the river passes the ruins of several mills once operated by water.
Management of the Cassarate basin becomes all the more important in preparation for the opening of the Vedeggio-Cassarate tunnel and the ensuing development of the New Cornaredo District. Furthermore, amongst the works integrating the Lugano Traffic Circulation Plan, there is a project to create what is known as the Green Ray. An area, 3 km long, which will go from the New Cornaredo District down to the Lake. The project will radically transform the left bank of the Cassarate, providing a natural upgrading of the bed of the river and creating a wide pedestrian/cycle path which will be separated from the road. With the Green Ray, the entire area will be returned to the community, to the city and its neighbourhood. Another project which has the same goal is the plan to re-wild the Foce area; the aim is to bring the River and residents closer together to make it easier to fully enjoy a panoramic spot with breathtaking views.