Lake Lugano is shared by Switzerland and Italy and the area around the glacier lake is infused with a mix of Swiss sophistication and Italian passion. Located between Lakes Maggiore and Como, Lugano was first mentioned by Gregory of Tours in 590 AD, who referred to the body of water as Ceresio. It is thought that the original name came from the many cherry trees that once dotted the shores of the lake. In 804 the lake was renamed as Luanasco. Today you can enjoy outdoor sports, beautiful villages, gorgeous views, festivals and delicious food in the Lugano area, which draws tons of tourists every year to its shores.
The majority of Lake Lugano is held by Switzerland, in an area where the lake comprises one of that country’s most popular tourist attractions. The Italian water and the Campione d’Italia enclave are considered non-territorial and therefore enjoy duty free status and are exempt from the EU VAT tax. The residents of the area also enjoy several other attractive tax advantages.
Lake Lugano and the surrounding area had always been an area of strategic and military importance. The first account of a political body governing the area dates back to 818 AD. In 1000 AD the lake was under the control of the Bishop of Como and was the site of the war between Milan and Como, which was fought between 1218 and 1227 for control of the Alpine traffic in the area. Later the lake and shoreline were incorporated into the Duchy of Milan and were again a subject of territorial and political contention in the 15th
Lake Lugano is chalk full of fish and except for a few protected areas–like the River Cuccio’s mouth in Porlezza–fishing is allowed. Protected species in the lake include the white clawed crayfish and the bleak, which is almost extinct in the area. Brook trout were introduced to the lake in 1895 from Lake Zug and the common whitefish were introduced around 1894. Over the years attempts have been made to introduce several other species in the water of the lake. It had taken around ten years to colonize the lake since common roach were present in the area in large numbers. Other creatures that can be found in the area include burbot, zander, largemouth bass, European perch and even wels catfish in small numbers.