Lugano at the crossroads: exiles, experiences, and ideas


Institutional Communication Service

10 April 2018

Since the 1930s, with the first racial persecutions by Nazi Germany, Switzerland has become a destination for victims of racial discrimination or political refugees. Considered as the quintessential land of freedom for centuries in literary works from Machiavelli to the Renaissance, Switzerland switches at times from being a country that opens up to political opponents and intellectual refugees, to a more defensive strategy such as in 1942 when its borders were closed. Within the project Lugano Città aperta, USI Institute of Italian Studies organises the study day “Lugano al crocevia: esuli, esperienze, idee” (Lugano at the crossroads: exiles, experiences and ideas).

The event will be held on Friday, April 20 in the Lugano campus Auditorium, with the aim of taking a closer look at Lugano and Ticino, and the social and cultural impact that the flow of Italian refugees had on the territory, and to extend such analysis to the refugees present in the country through relevant testimonies.


Lugano Città aperta

For the Holocaust Memorial Day held on January 26, the Federica Spitzer Foundation and the City of Lugano presented a project aimed at fostering the humanitarian tradition of Southern Switzerland. The project supported also by USI will lead up to the opening of a Garden of the Righteous in Parco Ciani, which will be held in the presence of the head of the department of Foreign Affairs Ignazio Cassis on April 26, and with the performance “Serata colorata” at LAC.


For the programme of Friday, April 20 and other events of Lugano città aperta:

Spitzer Foundation