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Anchors Away

Last night our waiter spoke to us wistfully as he served the polenta.

"Gandria used to be a real tourist hub. We even had our own small tourist office. But now no one thinks of us. All the attention goes to Lugano."

My dinner companion was Roland Baumgartner of Switzerland Tourism, who arranged for the boat I rowed across Lago di Lugano this morning. He explained that the tourism efforts were all consolidating into bigger regions. Since the offices and personnel tend to be centered in the bigger cities like Lugano, that's where the attention shifted as well.

Now it's all about big music festivals and five-star hotels. Quaint little former fishing villages like Gandria are forgotten.

Which is sad for those who make their living from serving polenta. But it sure adds charm to a wandering tourist like me, who gets to feel the tight stone streets and old character without a crush of wandering tourists like me.

The video doesn't show you the colorful town, so please take look at the photo on the map to get a nice feel of how beautiful this place is.

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