Alps And Sanctuaries Of Piedmont And The Canton Ticino By Samuel Butler

 -   The lake of Lugano is about 950 feet above the sea.  The river
falls rapidly between Mendrisio and the lake - Page 202
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The Lake Of Lugano Is About 950 Feet Above The Sea.

The river falls rapidly between Mendrisio and the lake, while the hotel is high above the river.

I do not see, therefore, how the hotel can be less than 1200 feet above the sea-line; but whatever height it is, I never felt the heat oppressive, though on more than one occasion I have stayed there for weeks together in July and August.

Mendrisio being situated on the railway between Lugano and Como, both these places are within easy reach. Milan is only a couple of hours off, and Varese a three or four hours' carriage drive. It lies on the very last slopes of the Alps, so that whether the visitor has a fancy for mountains or for the smiling beauty of the colline, he may be equally gratified. There are excellent roads in every direction, and none of them can be taken without its leading to some new feature of interest; I do not think any English family will regret spending a fortnight at this charming place.

Most visitors to Mendrisio, however, make it a place of passage only, en route for the celebrated hotel on the Monte Generoso, kept by Dr. Pasta, Signora Pasta's brother-in-law. The Monte Generoso is very fine; I know few places of which I am fonder; whether one looks down at evening upon the lake of Lugano thousands of feet below, and then lets the eye wander upward again and rest upon the ghastly pallor of Monte Rosa, or whether one takes the path to the Colma and saunters over green slopes carpeted with wild-flowers, and studded with the gentlest cattle, all is equally delightful. What a sense of vastness and freedom is there on the broad heaving slopes of these subalpine spurs.

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