Monte Generoso, Capolago

#1 of 6 in Parks in Mendrisiotto
Must see · Mountain · Lookout
Monte Generoso (also known as Calvagione) is a mountain of the Lugano Prealps, located on the border between Switzerland and Italy and between Lake Lugano and Lake Como. The western and southern flanks of the mountain lie in the Swiss canton of Ticino, whilst the north-eastern flanks are in the Italian region of Lombardy.
The view from the summit of the mountain encompasses the lakes of Lugano, Como, Varese and Maggiore. To the north are the Alps, stretching from the Matterhorn via the Jungfrau and the Saint-Gotthard Massif to the Bernina Range. To the south are the Lombardy Plains and the Po Valley, with the city of Milan and the Apennine Mountains visible on a clear day.
The summit can be approached by the Monte Generoso Railway, a rack railway that starts from Capolago in Switzerland, and climbs via the western flank of the mountain. The summit station includes a panoramic terrace and buffet, a restaurant and a hotel. The new restaurant Fiore di pietra (stone flower) designed by the architect Mario Botta was inaugurated on 29 March 2017. A paved path links the railway's summit station to the summit proper, a distance of approximately 350 metres (1,150 ft) and a difference in altitude of about 100 metres (330 ft).
There is road access from Mendrisio in Switzerland to Bellavista, some 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from the summit and an intermediate station on the railway. Hiking trails reach the summit from different starting points, including Bellavista, Capolago and Mendrisio.
The Monte Generoso Observatory is located adjacent to the railway's summit station, and is operated by the Monte Generoso Insubrica Astronomy Group. Also nearby is a small chapel dating from the 20th century.
The area is included in the Federal Inventory of Landscapes and Natural Monuments. The mountain slopes are home to a herd of between 300 and 350 chamois.
The artist and author Edward Lear spent summers from 1878 to 1883 on the mountain. His oil painting The Plains of Lombardy from Monte Generoso is in the Ashmolean Museum in the English city of Oxford.
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298 reviews
  • Stayed in Lake Como but got 2 very easy buses (C10 and C20) to our starting point in San Fidele in Telvi. The whole walk was just superb. It rained quite hard at the start but this proved to be a...  more »
  • Nice ride in a fairy tale train to the top of a mountain overlooking the region of lake Lugano. Train stop adjacent to railway station. You may also hike all the way up or down. Lovely scenery. A...  more »
  • What a view, great place to visit, if you have the time. Amazing views and a great little train service to take you all the way to the top. There is a cafe with drinks and food, and a restaurant for more 'formal' dining.
  • We tried our luck and found one parking spot at the S. Nicolao station, which is 1/2 way up the mountain. Otherwise - one has to take the train from the town (at Capolago station). Parking was free (though the sign indicated we had to pay - but no payment arrangements to be found). The station is nothing but a platform. Tickets may be bought on board the train, or at the cafeteria when you arrive - if you only use a credit card. The views from the mountain are fantastic - but it's a 20min difficult walk to get to the mountain top fro the station. Beware of the cafeteria - both the prices and quality....
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