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Moving to Switzerland: living in Lugano.

Moving to Switzerland living in Lugano Ticino and Lugano are seen by many Italians as the most familiar part of Switzerland: we speak Italian, the cuisine is very Italian, it is just a few kilometers from the border and after all it does not force us to make a cultural and working leap huge, especially if you come from Italy.

However, there are many who choose Lugano, either to live or to work and there are just as many who live as “frontiers”, who cross the border every day to work in Switzerland and then return home.

Living in the Canton of Ticino is a dream for many, but is it really such a fantastic place to start with your life, improve your career opportunities or raise your standard of living? Let’s see it together in the following lines.

The crisis has led many to move.

The numbers of movements of Italians in Canton Ticino are simply amazing. If up to 2010 there were 700 Italian citizens with permanent residence throughout the Canton of Ticino, today it easily exceeds 10,000.

The crisis is certainly an accomplice, but also of Swiss policies that make life increasingly difficult for cross-border commuters, that is, those who leave the north of Lombardy to work and then return home again.

The recent agreements of the Swiss Confederation on the free movement of people have made Switzerland a decidedly attractive target for many Italians willing to really change their lives.

The cost of living in Lugano

Although it is perhaps one of the most affordable cantons in the whole confederation, those who move from Italy should still take into account living costs that are certainly higher even than Lombardy, which is notoriously one of the most expensive regions in Italy.

The main costs concern:

  • homes: apartments for rent, especially in the center of Lugano, even starting with a rather modest home can be significantly more expensive than what we might find in the more expensive cities of Italy;
  • public transport: they are much more expensive than in Italy, a problem that affects not only Lugano but all of Switzerland in general. Having your own vehicle is certainly an excellent idea, even if …
  • fuel is quite cheap compared to Italy, apart from diesel.
  • restaurants and services are on average more expensive than in Italy and even a frugal dinner out can cost significantly more than a meal out in Italy.

At a cost of living that is in any case higher than the Italian one, wages are equivalent to higher than in Italy.

To be clear, Ticino certainly does not go hungry and the standard of living is certainly higher even than the wealthiest regions of Italy.

The problem of language

Although Ticino is perhaps the most Italian of the cantons, to have a good job it is still preferable, if not necessary, to learn German, at least the commercial one.

Lugano is a city that has very intense and profitable economic relations not only with Italy, but also with neighboring Austria and Germany.

Working in a Ticino company often means having to interact with clients and professionals who speak German, French as well as Italian.

The climate

Despite being a city rather to the north, especially for the geographical horizons of us Italians, Lugano has a relatively mild and rather sunny climate.

Summers are almost torrid and winters are still to be taken with a grain of salt: you can easily find snow during particularly snowy winters as sunny days more than the Swiss national average.

Lugano security: an (almost) crime-free place

Crime is obviously everywhere, even on the happy island of Switzerland. It must be said, however, that at least the perception of safety in Ticino and specifically in Lugano is particularly good. It is a place where street violence and violent crime are not, at least looking at the statistics, a problem.

Therefore, those looking for a safe place to let their family live and, more generally, to raise their children, could find an excellent answer in Lugano, perhaps one of the best in Europe.

Schools and education

Even those wishing to travel with family in tow can certainly enjoy an environment for education and training that is among the best in all of Europe.

In Lugano there is a great abundance of schools, both public and private, which are among the best institutions in Switzerland and more generally in Europe.

In Lugano we find TASIS among the most prestigious private schools in Europe: Tasis The American School In Switzerland.

Talking about private schools of international excellence it is impossible not to think of Switzerland. It is in this country, in fact, that the best institutes are concentrated, famous for their training that is synonymous with rigor and quality all over the world.

One of the most prestigious Swiss Colleges to study in is TASIS, Tasis The American School in Switzerland, in Lugano, a private institution that welcomes students from elementary to high school from all over the world.

You can easily choose between institutions that offer instruction in Italian and institutions that offer instruction in German or French instead. On this particular point, there seem to be no problems at all regarding your stay in Lugano.

Finding work in Lugano

Moving to Switzerland: living in Lugano Finding work in Ticino has become relatively more difficult in recent years and, if you do not have specific skills, it has become relatively difficult to find a job that can allow us to live in a place that is so expensive.

Specifically, it is relatively easy to find work if you have skills and qualifications in the following sectors:

  • banking sector: although the financial heart of Switzerland is equally divided between Geneva and Zurich, Lugano is also home to many banks, mainly active in trade between Italy and Switzerland. If you want to work in a bank and believe you have the right skills to opt for Lugano, you can start exploring the waters;
  • education sector: in Lugano there are many international schools, especially colleges, where the children of the good European, Middle Eastern and Asian bourgeoisie end up. If you have the skills to be able to find a job in this type of structure, finding work becomes very easy;
  • health sector: Lugano is a land of clinics, both for the rest of the elderly and for surgical operations. Finding a job as a nurse or assistant is very easy, especially for those with a diploma or degree of this type;
  • catering sector: it is a sector that always pulls quite a lot in Lugano, even if perhaps less than in the past. Those with experience in catering and hospitality can certainly try their luck.

Thanks to numerous agreements between the Swiss Confederation and the European Union, it is possible to move to Switzerland and live without the need for any type of visa.

However, the situation is different for those who want to remain semi-definitively, carry out a work or business activity or study. In that case, a permit must be obtained from the nearest cantonal authority.

In the event that you have found an employee type job, it will most likely be the company that hired you to take care of everything.

Moving is no more difficult, on a bureaucratic level, than traveling to other European countries, as long as you have a certain and demonstrable source of income.

Social life: in Lugano they love to live quietly.

Perhaps one of the downsides, especially for those arriving from particularly busy places, is the relative calm (for the more extreme it’s a flat calm) once the working day has come to an end.

Lugano is certainly not the center of nightlife and perhaps it can end up boring the youngest.

However, the fact remains that Italy is just a few steps away and you can definitely make a weekend trip to cities like Milan which, from this point of view, appear much more lively.

Those who love to dance and stay up late will certainly not find bread for their teeth in Lugano, a place that, after all, is perhaps more suitable for families than for young people.

(This article was sent to us by an Italian reader who has just moved to live in Lugano.)

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Moving to Switzerland living in Lugano.