Benvenuti a Lugano :)
I have progressed, as it were, from visiting filming locations for films I like to revisiting locations from fanfic I myself have written.
If reading Catching Up has made you curious about Lugano, here are a few
(NB clicking on pics will take you to the full-size versions; most are nearly full size as is)
Not a flattering introduction, taken as it was in the depths of winter (okay, March, but still...) - but it will get better from here ;)
Same trip, same place, looking a bit to the left (ie south) toward the San Salvatore end of things. The part below San Salvatore, where Selina was staying, is technically a suburb called Paradiso; the exact location of the Principe Leopoldo, seen in the next picspam, is called La Collina d'Oro (Golden Hill) and is, as the name implies, on a hill (at the very edge of the left-hand corner).
Switching gears a bit, and switching seasons to late spring... looking at Lugano from the Italian side, from the mountains across the lake (northeast looking southwest) - Monte Bré is at the right-hand edge of the pic, with the sunlit white spot being the café terrace where they talk at night (more on that later)
Back in March, here is the daytime view from Monte Brè (north of town looking south) - the hill/mountain at the right-hand edge is San Salvatore; looking below its top to the left, you can just about see Carona as a white dot further on the ridge, mostly obscured by the hill. The white line at the same level but closer to the mountain is a residential complex at a halfway hamlet called Ciona.
San Salvatore again, centre stage this time, with Lugano to the right. The long flat-looking green hill next to the lake/the town between the foot of San Sal and the bit of lake (the tail end of Lake Lugano's westward curve, actually) further to the right is the Collina d'Oro mentioned above (the Leopoldo location). The sort-of-spit crossing the lake is a bridge going east toward Italy and the town of Como.
View from the town park, with San Sal to the right
The next four are really two pairs of shots taken about a quarter of an hour apart, of Monte Brè (looking north from Lugano centre lakeshore) and Monte San Salvatore (looking south from the same point).
The next two are from the top of Monte Bré this last Saturday - the weather had taken a turn for the worse compared to glorious Friday when I went to Carona, but I was still lucky not to have had rain. These are as close as I could get to taking a nighttime picture without a car to get up there (as it was, I took a quarter-hour countryside hike to get to the bus stop afterwards, well-paved but not uniformly lit; and my camera battery was de facto dead so I had to live with the blurry results, with no chance of a retake). I imagine that the fictional late night heart-to-heart took place in clearer weather with better visibility.
Back on the Lugano waterfront, looking north at Monte Brè (by which point the battery was well and truly fucked, so it gave me very short exposure resulting in a darker picture than it should have). The lights stop about two thirds up the mountain when it gets steep. San Salvatore, being steeper throughout, has no lights at all save for a single vertical line along the cable railway path.
This is my tick-the-box moment, the room at the Principe Leopoldo. I stayed at the Residence, the modern annex across the road, rather than the old original villa building (with a four-time price difference, you'll have to forgive my departure from fiction. Selina could afford to stay at the villa, of course ;) ) I hope the villa rooms have better artwork than the appalling stuff they hung here, but on the plus side, it is a big room.
Same, the following morning, in natural light, with the painting looking even more garish :P
Looking the other way
Define shameless self insert :P ...that mirror was too much temptation. I know I am ten years older than and about twice as big as Anne Hathaway, but this is as close as I could get to at least dressing the part.
OK; enough of the been there done that. This is the main, original villa building. The Sesto would be parked where the van is.
...looking less impressive from the lake-facing side :/
A view south at the backside of Monte San Salvatore and the ridge going to Carona (to the right in this pic). The next, Carona-centric picspam has more pics from the Leopoldo terrace.
Skipping back again; the following four are views from the highest mountain across the lake (Monte Generoso), on the Swiss-Italian border, reachable by a charming cog train that only runs in good weather - carpe diem at its most literal. These pics were taken in early September 2011; the lake still has its bright emerald late-spring/summertime colour - its turns more blue-grayish in the autumn and winter. You can see the lake crossing on the right hand side (with the highway part going into the mountain and the regular road and railroad following the lakeshore to the right toward Lugano), and Carona directly above. The lake doubles back northwest behind the ridge Carona is on, with another bit branching off to the south; it has a really crooked shape at its southern end ;)
San Salvatore (seen sideways) and Lugano (beyond it) are at the right-hand side.
Zooming in on San Salvatore and Lugano
This is the view from San Salvatore looking north - Lugano to the left, Mt Bré directly opposite - it kind of blends into the higher mountain behind it but you can see the two white spots of the buildings marking its summit.
Same spot, looking south-southeast. The spot the previous lake-panorama pics were taken from (Mt Generoso) is just beyond the left-hand edge of the frame.
Same spot again, looking dead south. You can see the Carona road close to the ridge and, vaguely, Carona itself in the distance - and the bit of the lake doubling back on the right hand side.
If you want to see Carona up close, see you in the next picspam, where I actually get there :)