If you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable Spring experience, then Villa Heleneum should definitely be on your list to visit while in Lugano. It can be reached on a wonderful walk between Gandria and Lugano, where you can find yourself exploring the gardens and historical stoned furnishings.
Officially located in the Castagnola district of Lugano, the Villa Heleneum and park area was built and designed in the Liberty style in 1931. It is one of many Spring Parks in Lugano worth visiting.
The history of both Villa Heleneum and park area is closely connected with the figure of Hélène Biber, a modern ballet dancer from Paris who started a society ‘salon’ in her home in Lugano. She died in 1967 having lived life to the full, and the property passed into the hands of the Municipality of Lugano.
The garden has a rich Mediterranean vegetation, with the most stunning, fresh smelling plants. Famously beautiful camellias, known to the canton, can be spotted here in rich pinks and reds. A personal favourite of mine is the violet, purple wisterias you can sit under. The blossoming branches are so beautiful to admire in the park and should be enjoyed by all in the area during Spring.
Some of these plants include fruit trees, where you will spot lemons, grapefruits and oranges. Alongside palm trees, you can also enjoy sitting next to huge cycas trees, which are more rare in Lugano to see.
The furnishings of the park, such as the stairs, the columns, the tuff stone cave, are all original from 1931.
How To Get to Villa Heleneum Park And Visit
To reach Villa Heleneum by public transport from Lugano, the best option is bus 12 from the Lugano Centro bus station. You can get off the bus at Castagnola, Tamporiva. From here you will still need to walk to the park, which is about 6 minutes downhill only.
Another option is to reach Villa Heleneum is from Gandria, if you want to visit that village first (recommended!). The walk from Gandria to the park is beautiful, along the lake and local houses. It takes only 24 minutes.
The Opening times are:
Summer (March-October) – Mon-Sun 6.30-23.30
Winter (November-February)- Mon-Sun 6.30-21.00
Address: Via Cortivo 24, 6976 Lugano
Relaxation Tip: Take book to read while visiting the park. There are a few benches to sit on which is perfect to relax while the sun shines.
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