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Swissminiatur-Melide | Stupendous Confederation Visit in just 3 Hours.

Swissminiatur in the town of Melide is definitely one of the great attractions of Switzerland, something simply special in its kind which offers the chance to discover a stupendous Confederation with a visit in just 3 hours and that is approximately the suitable time to admire on a scale 1:25 one of the most visited sites of the entire Nation. 

That open-air miniature park is situated in the wonderful Swiss Canton of Ticino at just 7,0 kilometres from one of its most precious jewels, the beautiful city of Lugano boasting a stylish and trendy monumental centre with a stunning historic patrimony among the most attractive of the  entire country and furthermore well known furthermore for its fabulous lake.

Great destination for families with children but also for adults who can know in a nutshell many interesting things about a fabulous land in a very pleasant Educational itinerary, that fascinating attraction is encircled by a group of stupendous mountains at foot of the wonderful and imposing Monte Generoso, a scenic peak which with its 1701,0 metres of altitude is a great protagonist of a scenery boasting fantastic landscapes..

That magnificent peak is undoubtedly a scenic highlight, well known to be inserted in the Federal Inventory of Landscapes and Natural Monuments, a sort of towering monument of nature which exalts with its stunning silhouette the beauty of that territory extremely suggested to visit for many tourists with the most varied tastes.

That site lies in a great geographic location corresponding to a point along a sort of marvellous tourist route which permits to plan a multitude of itineraries on the shore of a magnificent waters basin also well known as Lago Ceresio but also a great base during a pleasant stay offering a vast choice of radial excursions.

 All around Swissminiatur it is possible to enjoy several visits  in an area packed by Medieval, Baroque, Neo-Classical and including Liberty architectural beauties, a perfect environment for all those who love fine art, a refined architecture and an outstanding history including highlighting  many medium and small centres.

In addition from there you can reach in a very short time the Italian frontier, very close is the stunning Lake Como which for its iconic prestige is another fantastic incentive to take in high consideration offering the chance to admire a wonder which since a long time ago is a pillar of the Tourism Elite Industry, well known to be elevated and highly regarded as a top destination for its extraordinary and incomparable beauty.

Lake Lugano and Melide offer great chances to practise different kinds of water sports such as sailing, diving, surfing all activities which boast a considerable tradition with many excellent services and facilities provided by several superb Nautical Clubs with in addition the opportunity to have a great lake cruise, an unforgettable experience to remember forever.

Once there you will also discover how many are other options for different attractive things to do in the immediate surroundings of that corner of the Canton of Ticino which is a Mecca for trekkers, cyclists and mountain bikers because the Swiss mountains apart to be a beautiful local frame are simply great for all that too.

The mission of Swissminiatur since its opening was to transmit after the visit of its complex to know much more the beauty of a land in an uncontaminated environment starting to discover in that special miniature attraction the most relevant destinations of Switzerland that can be visited  in reality  planning holidays in some of those sites.

The brilliant chance to admire the major highlights of that beautiful country in a perfect mini conformation of all its territory, including, cities, railway system, the majestic Alps with much more a perfect reproduction of the scenic, magnificent landscapes and landmarks of that superb Nation it is undoubtedly highly educative for everybody, including highly inspiring for future destinations.

Encircled by fairytale scenery that tiny land could not have better position to be established l in an area of over 14,000 square kilometres developed in 1959 by Pierre Vuigner in collaboration with Georges Wütrich and also the history of that stunning attraction is particularly captivating.

That brilliant idea came after a trip to The Netherlands when the founder enjoyed a visit to Madurodam, the famous Holland Miniature and once returned home highly inspired by all what he saw in that site located in Scheveningen in the district of The Hague founded by George Maduro in 1952, he started to think that also his country, Switzerland could have a place like that. 

Since then Vuigner visited different places all around the Confederation to study and analyse suitable and ideal sites to develop his design and project searching the best and the most appropriate also in terms of geographic location.

Once reached Melide he immediately had the intuition that splendid small town was the right and more than appropriate habitat for his future creation, no hesitations because the view of an environment absolutely striking on the shore of an astonishing lake, a paradise at the foothills of the Alps so close to diamonds such as Lugano, Locarno and Ascona bewitched the man in a while. (In the case you are interested I wrote posts about those three stunning places)

The immediate proximity of the iconic bridge dam which connects that coastline to Mendrisio and its surroundings on the other coast of that waters basin just 40 minutes from the superb city of Bellinzona, one hour and twenty minutes driving from important centres such as Zurich and the Capital Bern by motorway, those special features were the definitive superb and right choice for the realisation of his dream, all that was for that gentleman simply perfect and it is all what you can see and admire nowadays.

That enchanting picture of Switzerland with also those great communications were absolutely for that clever entrepreneur something unique because the goal of that man was also devoted to increase an incoming tourism towards his land that needed in his opinion a new niche of proposals who he detected after that flashing inspiration took by that notorious experience lived in that trip in The Netherlands.

After an agreement with the Major of Melide Mr. Gallino started a hard and intense work and thanks also to the promotion of some medias, the support of some prominent people of entertainment, music and art from Switzerland and Italy such as Peter Kraus, Lys Assia, Nicola di Bari, Caterina Valente, Vico Torriani, Marina Salinaz, Hermann Geiger, Febo Conti, Anita Trasversi, Marina Doria  who immediately appreciated that magnificent project and since then born the myth of Swissminiatur.

In a heaven totally immersed in a stupendous natural scenery the operations had since the beginning a fruitful start-up, the establishment of that attractive complex was closely related to the aim to approach people who had no knowledge of what there was in determined locations at national scale and Swissiminiatur had to be in its kind once left that miniature park the instrument to transmit the desire to enjoy tourism capturing with a psychological and visual impact the interest of the visitor recieving that pleasant signal.

The forecast and the final results were highly positive, a multitude of tourists were very surprised and enchanted, others at the exit enjoying so much that place as an automatic input they reached sites they saw there never visited before.

In a very short time that Institution had a great success, many tourists from all the Swiss Cantons and Northern Italy came numerous, it was an outstanding boom and exploit in terms of affluence and in a while that site became the Queen of the Swiss Attractions Parks in Switzerland also gaining an international prestige and popularity. 

A notable interest also came by several schools with consequent considerable flows of student trips also from abroad with a relevant outgoing tourism with destination Lake Lugano & Swissminiatur, an effect which remarkably increased day by day.

I would like to tell you my own experience linked to that because once I visited that site many years ago inspired me to visit the wonderful Luzern and just a couple of years later when I organised some radial excursions for three kind Canadian couples spending some days in Lugano after that visit they asked me their immense desire to visit the following day the magnificent medieval city of Bellinzona and curiously nothing was programmed before that event.

The beauty of that place is simply unique in its kind, the visitors can perfectly see the outstanding replicas in scale of the most famous Alpine mountains such as the famed Matterhorn, Bernina,  Jungfrau, Gotthard Massif, the Engadin Valley, the historic centres of Bern, Zurich, Geneva, Basel, all the most important cities and towns of the Swiss territory with a total of 120 models representing monuments including the statue of William Tell, the emblematic national hero.

Obviously the Confederation is also represented in that attractive space by its eleven UNESCO patrimony Heritage Sites and that stupendous tiny paradise also attracts the lovers of models of trains and railway systems working in a great development of a setting arranged along a length of 3,500 metres with the presence of platforms, stations, closely related to that you can admire the iconic Glacier Express connecting Zermatt to Sankt Moritz, crossing Coira, Andermatt, Disentis and Brig, an icon inaugurated on 25th June 1933.
The almost perfect replica of all that is one the main highlights of Swissminiatur and the successful arrangement of the creator in a superb design in the most modern style with all the tracks developed in a excellent  geographic reproduction give all the visitors a perfect idea about all the connections in the entire country and that view it is undoubtedly something of great.

In addition the models of the different means of transportation are provided by electric systems and apart the trains running on rails you can also see boats crossing lakes as in a cruise and cable cars and funiculars in service on the Alps.

Linked to those mountain the presence of the emblematic Alpine tunnels such as the Gotthard and the Simplon are also great attractions just like the motorways reproduced in scale as the originals while the design with the courses of the rivers as  the famous Aar are impressive too.

The natural environment is a further highlight consisting in a large verdant space greatly enriched by 1500 species of plants, 15,000 different types of flowers planted in beautiful gardened areas offering the visitor a pleasant view, very welcoming, all is well cared, preserved with wide green sections and benches to have a relaxing break.

Other services Swissminiatur provided are a  big Restaurant with a capacity of 400 people, 200 places inside and 200 outside serving Italian and Oriental cuisine, a souvenir shop with different articles, for the happiness of the children a playground and in addition all that is completed by an excellent information service situated in an office at the entrance of the complex.

You will often see around that open-air miniature park the image of the nice Mascot called Rudy which with its silhouette is present in many strategic points and immediately outside just some metres from the entrance lies a big parking area. 

All that is visitable in just 3 hours with calm and tranquillity and that site is open from March to October everyday from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm.

Apart Swissminiatur I also suggest to visit Melide which offers to the visitor apart that famed place, other wonderful attractions and one of them is the previously mentioned great dam bridge designed by the famed engineer Pasquale Lucchini

It is an outstanding civil masterpiece ended in 1847, a more than relevant work to establish a further and stunning improvement to the Swiss communications already at the highest level in Europe in that period.

That impressive creation connected the coast and immediate surroundings of Lugano to the opposite shore avoiding with the presence of that superb structure driving for many kilometres around the lake reaching in a while another corner of the Confederation crossing very quickly a waters basin pretty big.

Other local beauties you will appreciate in that town are elegant and classy villas which form all together a very stylish frame around that resort such as Villa Matilde, Villa Branca, Villa Bellavista and Villa Miramonte. 

Erected in different periods between the 19th and 20th century in Romantic and Liberty styles in magnificent positions, surrounded by beautiful gardens their presence delight the view of a multitude of people who find that town highly captivating with those charming mansions protagonists of a very appealing scenery.

Another divine attraction which worth a mention is the fabulous local lakeside promenade offering stupendous sights highlighted by a very peaceful, romantic atmosphere representing an ideal, eternal incentive to enjoy pleasant long walks enchanted by magnificent blue calm waters and in addition with  the opportunity to practise different kinds of activities such as rowing, kayak, diving and sailing.

Highly picturesque and enchanting at sunset, from there you can have a striking panoramic view towards the opposite coast on which is situated another marvel called Campione d´Italia, a picturesque Italian municipality totally surrounded by Switzerland.

On the shore of that unforgettable lake in a territory packed by green forests the great panoramic views are absolutely striking and that centre is very close to the municipalities of Morcote and Bissone which are twosmall but fascinating places to immortalise in a multitude of scenic pictures boasting medieval monumentsof notable value.

Along Riviera Paradiso crossing the municipality with the same name (if you are interested I wrote a post about that place) and Riviera Caccia two beautiful and stylish long lakeside avenues you can reach in just some minutes Lugano

.Apart that you will have during that fast journey the chance to admire spectacular images of a large section of the lake simply wonderful and in the meantime also delighted by the view of the fascinating silhouette of the Monte Salvatore reachable by funicular.

The mild climate all year is definitely another great incentive, a feature which plays an important role with very pleasant temperatures.

Below the post I wrote some links in the case you intend to spend holidays or why not a short break in that fascinating corner of Switzerland with the opportunity to visit Melide and its main attraction and for that I listed some accommodations pretty suggested for comfort and services they provide.
The presence of Lugano Agno International Airport situated at just 10, 0 kilometres from that town reachable in just some minutes driving by A2 Motorway is another excellent feature to take in high consideration if you are thinking to plan a trip there.

Swissminiatur and the town in which is situated are together a marvellous option very recommended to insert in a magnificent itinerary combining to an endless cultural, historic and natural patrimony will enchant you something alternative but extremely attractive in its kind.

Switzerland is a stunning country all to discover and attractions like that are an inviting gateway which will open you a large door to admire a land extremely rich of marvels and unforgettable places starting from that fairytale site you will immediately love.

Francesco Mari

Recommended Hotels in Melide 

Art Deco Hotel Del Lago
Hotel al Boccalino
Hotel Garni Battello

Useful links

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