The street
of architecture

One of the more distinctive attractions in Via Nassa is its architecture: the porticoes along the street that have provided shelter for visitors throughout the ages. These porticoes are not monumental, except for brief stretches; instead, they are hark back to the farming and fishing culture that permeated this area for centuries. If we analyse the architecture, it seems natural to wonder which rules guided the hands of those that built them. Probably, none: they were so skilled that they were able to invent something like this off the cuff, leaving us with a splendid, distinctive heritage.

historical streets

The street
of art

From the 10th century onwards, Lugano and, with it, Via Nassa, immediately entered into the range of political and religious interests of the Bishops of Como, who effectively had control of the entire Lugano area. Tangible evidence of that influence lies in the fact that in 1440 monks from the Order of the Observants came to the city, perhaps from Como, and built a church and a monastery: the Chiesa degli Angeli, or “Church of the Angels”. The French invaded Lugano in 1499. In 1513, when the French surrendered at the Castle of Lugano, all the land became property of the Swiss Captains Regent who, until 1798, promoted the maintenance of the architecture and arches of Via Nassa. As a result, its medieval appearance has been preserved right up to the present day.

The street
of fishermen

A city’s history is inscribed in the history of its walls or its streets. Via Nassa is undoubtedly an important street in Lugano, and there isn’t a single story about the city that can be told without mentioning it for some reason or other. It is Lugano’s most important commercial street: historically, it was the street where the artisans’ workshops were located, the fishermen’s street, the main thoroughfare and street providing access to the old city.

The name “Nassa” is connected to the idea of “water” and, since it was here that fishermen used to spread out their nets and undoubtedly offload the day’s catch and then sell it, the word must therefore mean “Fish Market Street”.

The street
of shopping

Going shopping in Via Nassa is certainly a memorable experience: the classiest boutiques and the most elegant jewellers’ alternate with tantalizing gastronomic treats and exquisite antiques that are impossible to pass up.
In the heart of Lugano, at just a stone’s throw from the lake, this street offers all the exclusivity and appeal of the major European labels.
A number of internationally renowned designer names have chosen Via Nassa because it can be both glamorous and traditional at the same time.


  • Roberto Mazzantini, President
  • Giada Acquistapace, Digital & Content manager
  • Elena Bernasconi, Associate coordinator
  • Jo Fabbri, Art & Culture manager
  • Alberto Prandoni, Events manager
  • Roberto Schmid, Hospitality & Tourism manager
  • Daiana Jordi, Treasurer