Welcome to our blog, where we will be exploring the picturesque village of Brè in Lugano. This blog is dedicated to shining a spotlight on this charming village and all it has to offer. From its rich history to its stunning views, and including 4 stunning kitty cats we met, we will take you on a virtual journey through this hidden gem in Ticino, Switzerland. So sit back, relax, and join us as we discover the beauty and charm of Brè.
Facts about Brè Lugano
- Since 1912, the Monte Brè funicular has led from Lugano Cassarate to Monte Brè, serving also to the local residents and tourism
- The village is at 798m elevation above Lake Lugano!
- Brè is located in the sunniest canton of Switzerland
What Can You See At the Village of Brè?
Wander The Village
This wonderful village of Brè Lugano has many historical stone-built houses and outhouses in the Ticinese architecture style. You can also walk the beautiful cobblestone pathways and alleyways. The village has around 300 inhabitants and you get a great sense of community vibes here.
The village is welcoming all year round, but our personal favourite time to visit is Spring when all the flowers are out and blooming. Lugano in Spring is always wonderful!
The Art Work
Bre is known for being an outdoor artistic location for everyone to explore first hand. The village has a rich artistic heritage, with many of the artists and craftsmen calling the village their own home. These artists included Pasquale Gilardi (1885-1934), Wilhelm Schmid (1892-1971) and Josef Birò (1887-1975).
Visitors can explore various art galleries, studios, and workshops showcasing local talent and craftsmanship – which includes the “Path of Art” to follow.
Wilhelm Schmid Museum
The Wilhelm Schmid Museum was the residence of the artist (1892–1971) and today contains a collection of his works in the village. Schmid was the only Swiss painter of the northern Magical Realism style.
He worked on his paintings, sculptures and terracotta sculptures until his death, which included severe visual impairment. In 1968 he received honorary citizenship of Brè.
The Local Kitties
During our walks in the village, we’ve come across many friendly kitties who love some attention. These cats are of course the locals and well looked after. Most were very friendly, greeting us as well as others who were passing by. So they clearly love meeting new people!
Check the orange cat below which we think is the main boss cat of the village!
The Chiesa di San Fedele Church
One of the notable landmarks in Brè is the Chiesa di San Fedele, a picturesque Roman Catholic church with a simple yet elegant design and beautiful frescoes. It has an architectual style of Romanesque, Baroque and Neoclassical.
Although it was probably built in medieval times, the church was mentioned for the first time only in 1591 . In the 18th century it was profoundly remodeled (among other transformations it was rotated 180 degrees compared to the pre-existing building), while in the 19th century it was lengthened towards the east.
The Panoramic Viewpoint
The Panoramic Viewpoint is a great place to see the village from above. This is just a short 5-7 minute walk up from the church towards Monte Brè. The viewpoint has a water fountain, a concrete seating area and a sign showing what mountains you can see from here.
There is also a picnic bench nearby where you can enjoy some lunch or snacks during your visit. Then you can enjoy the views longer while eating!
We have visited many times, here below you can see three of our photos showing the viewpoint views in a snowy Winter, in Summer before sunset and during late Autumn.
We have a fully-loaded, high content Ticino Guide listing local things to see, do and explore with each season: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.CLICK HERE
Where To Eat In Brè
One of our favourite restaurants in Lugano is also Osteria Salotto Brè due to how welcoming they are, great food and service and overall a great restaurant to visit. During our visits, the beef was always a great choice but have a range of choices for everyone. They have had a refurbishment during January 2024 and will be reopening for February 2024 – so we can’t wait to go back!
How To Get To Brè?
By Bus or Car
The most efficient way to visit Brè is with the local public bus number 12 that takes you there directly from Lugano bus station. This takes just 27 minutes without traffic to the final stop of Brè, Paese.
With a car, this is also easy to do with the road all the way up. There is paid parking at the village (around 40-60 spaces) but keep in mind on busy Summer weekends this can get full quite quickly, so public transport is always advised.
By Cycling or Hiking!
For those who are more adventerous, why not cycle or hike to the top from Lugano. For cyclists, you can follow the road to the top the same as the cars and buses.
For hiking, there are many ways to hike to the village of Brè. One popular route is directly from Lugano to Brè via the houses through Aldesago. You dont need to follow the road directly as there are many cut throughs and pathways just for walkers between the houses. Follow the yellow walking signs that start opposite the Parco Calistenico to go up. From here you can also combine a visit to Parco San Michele on the way!
The most popular, fun and easiest way is to use the Monte Brè funicular. Located not far from Lugano city centre, you can take the Monte Brè Funicular every 30 minutes to the peak of the mountain and then it will take you just 20 minutes to walk down to the village.
All up to date information can be found here.
Other Villages To Explore In Ticino
A wander around any Lugano village is nice for exploring, but Brè is a bit more special based on where it is, how nice it is to get there with a funicular and the amount of cats we met! The village is small and easy to combine with a longer hike to Monte Boglia or to the panoramic viewpoints of Monte Brè. You can spend longer with a restaurant visit too, which we definitely recommend.