The Autumn Festival in Lugano (Festa d’autunno) is one of the city’s free highlights for October, at the start of the Autumn period. Lugano in Autumn is a pretty time to visit, with gorgeous oranges, yellows and brown trees surrounding the city. Visiting Lugano at the same time as the Autumn Festival in Lugano is a great combo, where you can buy local cuisine, Swiss gifts, vintage items and join a game or two!
Also known in Italian as the Festa d’autunno, this weekend event held in October is a festive moment for all that live in Lugano. The weekend event is the celebration of the harvest season, with fun events and local bites to eat.
Keep in mind that when the weekend has good weather, the festival will be busy! Everyone who lives in the Ticino canton will likely make their way to the festival. Take your time to walk around and enjoy the festival at a slow pace.
Autumn Ticino Delicacies
First to highlight is the local Ticino wines. There’s lots to try as the region has many wineries and vineyards producing white and red wine. You can find a few in the supermarkets such as at the Coop and the Lidl, but for the festival you can find a lot more! So if you enjoy a glass of wine or two, make sure to spend time at the stands to see what the wineries have on offer.
For food, think local! All warm products being sold at the food stands include local cuisine, such as;
- Potatoes with meat
Many of the food stands are from the local Grotto restaurants. This is great to experience visiting one of these if you are in Lugano for longer, but at least for the Autumn Festival in Lugano it gives you the chance to try one of their dishes.
Local market Products and Gifts
The city also has a special area of stands where you can buy all local products being sold by restaurants or grottos. You can simply walk to the main squares and biggest streets to find the stands, as they are located mostly here. And you will see also more side streets with music along the way. These product stands include;
- Swiss cheeses
- Red and white wines
- Breads and pastries
Else for gifts, stop at the stands in the city of Lugano with non food or drink related. Here is where you can buy many unique gifts for yourself or loved ones. These items include:
- Flower decorations
If you end up visiting Lugano on a rainy day, check our top rainy day tips of things to do here!
For those wanting to find something a little more unique, make sure to check out the vintage market area. Here you can find yourself something old, something retro, something classic or something antique! If you like a bargain like me, you can find also something cheap. During our visit in 2022, we saw the following:
- Old fashioned toys
- Small statues and antique items
- Accessories (bags, jewellery etc)
- Home decor items
- Vintage signs and books
We also have a full self guided 1 day walking tour in Lugano you can follow!
Games and Music
To enjoy the vibe of the Autumn Festival in Lugano, stop at one of the fun game stands to see if you can win against the game. This is great for those with kids to get them involved with the local festival. The games are often old fashioned, such as what was played in the past. If you win, you usually get a free little prize!
For music, the full weekend has live music being played in the many different areas. You can easily stop and listen while enjoying a coffee or bite to eat at one of the other stands. For the type of music, you can expect songs played by Ticino folk groups with a cheerful musical style.
As you may have seen mentioned, this is a free event – which is great! It’s perfect for exploring Lugano while combining your visit with the Autumn Festival of Lugano. Since its at the start of October, its usually still quite sunny and warm (for 2022 it started as a bit rainy on Friday, but was 23°c degrees by Sunday!).
If you wish to stay the night, consider checking one of the best places to stay at in Lugano. You won’t be disappointed!