The First WINIR Symposium was held in Lugano, the largest town in Ticino, the southernmost canton of the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland (click map to enlarge). Surrounded by the mountains of the Southern Alps, the town lies in a bay on the northern side of the beautiful Lake Lugano.

Lugano was a medieval market town that was the object of bitter disputes between the Dukes of Como and Milan in the 14th and 15th centuries. It was under Swiss control between 1513 and 1798. In the years preceding the short-lived Helvetic Republic (1798-1803), Lugano boasted the Gazzetta di Lugano, a widely-read newspaper that embraced the ideas of the Enlightenment, supporting both the American Revolution and the French Revolution.

Lugano is an international city - it is Switzerland's third most important financial centre - at the crossroads of European cultures. With its traffic-free historic town centre, its Mediterranean-style squares and arcades, and its numerous attractive buildings in Italianate Lombardy style, Lugano is a particularly popular tourist destination in the spring (more information here and here).

The Symposium was held on the grounds of the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI), and hosted by the Faculty of Economics.