FoxTown Factory Outlet is situated in a sleepy town of Mendrisio, near to the Swiss-Italian border. The Outlet is a highlight by shopping tours coming from both Milan or Como. FoxTown is in fact way nearer to Milan than to Zurich. But we went ahead to check out this outlet mall anyway. It’s within a short walk from Mendrisio train station surrounded by a somewhat industrial-looking neighbourhood. There weren’t many shoppers on that particular day and no sighting of tour buses either.
There is quite a good selection of well-known Italian brands like Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Ferragamo, Gucci, Prada, Tods, Valentino and Versace. Another good thing for non-Swiss residents to shop here is that the Tax Refund can be processed and collected in FoxTown.
However, the prices here seem to be on the higher side as compared to other Factory Outlets we had been to. For some reason those Outlets with Euro pricing looks to be a better deal especially after the Tax Refund. Needless to say, no shopping bags for us here.
After some cheesy Swiss Fondue lunch at the nicely decorated Chalet Suisse restaurant, I made an impromptu plan to visit the nearby Lake Lugano, known for its scenic surroundings.
The beautiful Lake Lugano
The southern Swiss city of Lugano feels more like being in Italy than Switzerland. There are plenty of Italian influence here that can be seen in its architecture style and food. Lugano can easily pass off as an Italian city if not for the Swiss flags and Francs when paying. But of course, it is well known for the beautiful Lake Lugano surrounded by magnificent mountains. It’s somewhat similar to the equally beautiful Lake Como in Italy.
It takes a few minutes to walk from the main train station down towards the lakeshore. Thereafter, the relaxed stroll along the lakeshore promenade was such a joy for its scenic views. How I wished to have more time here to explore further.
It looks quiet and laid-back all around the neighbourhood as I wandered about. The colourful buildings and squares like Piazza della Riforma are like reminders of Lugano’s nickname of the ‘Little Italy’.
Dinner at La Cucina di Alice
The restaurant with a nice view of Lake Lugano was recommended to us by a local. And indeed, the food at La Cucina di Alice did not disappoint, it’s delicious! I must also mention about the impeccable service rendered by the friendly waiting staff. I would definitely visit again if I find myself back in Lugano.
Thereafter, we made our way back to Zurich and prepare for our return flight the next day.