Located just a short distance from Lugano, Melide’s Swissminiatur is the perfect way to visit Switzerland… in just one hour! This outdoor museum hosts more than 120 miniature models plus a dense railway network.
Each year, over 200 thousand tourists from across the world visit Melide’s Swissminiature park. Located on the banks of Lake Ceresio, the park is surrounded by mountains including Monte Generoso, San Salvatore and San Giorgio.
In little more than one hour, just enough time to take a walk through the area’s blossoming park featuring more than 1,500 plant species, you can admire the Swiss Confederation’s most representative monuments including castles, historic buildings, churches, cathedrals, rustic houses, railways, mountains and lakes. All authentically recreated in a 1:25 scale. Extending over a surface area of 14,000 square meters, the park offers as many as 120 miniature models plus a railway network boasting 18 trains and 3,500 meters of tracks. In addition to Ticino and Italian culinary specialties, its self-service restaurant also offers an assortment of Chinese and Indian dishes. “Ours is a family business”, explains Director Dominique Vuigner. “The brainchild of my father and one of his acquaintances, Madurodam, a similar park in Holland, originally served as inspiration for the facility. In a bid to choose the ideal location for the park, the two of them travelled all over Switzerland in search of the perfect match. In the end, thanks to its extraordinary landscape featuring a meld of lakes and mountains, they opted for Melide. Initially, only 10-12 models, mainly visited by Italian tourists who came to Switzerland to shop, were built on the premises. As time went by, the offer increased and, by the 1980s, the facility boasted some 100 models. The park now features as many as 120 miniature models, a dense railway network, lakes, bridges, freeways, cable cars and funiculars. The structures of the models are built by a French specialist, while details and finishing touches are added at the Swissminiatur workshops.”

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