Which Countries Border Lake Lugano?

Lake Lugano in Switzerland.
Lake Lugano in Switzerland.

Also known as Ceresio or Lago di Lugano, Lake Lugano is a glacial water body that is located between Italy and Switzerland. Specifically, the glacial lake lies on the border between the two countries although the bigger part (about 63%) lies in Switzerland. The total area of the lake is 18.8 square miles. The average width of the lake is about 0.62 miles, the maximum depth is 945 feet, and the average depth is around 440 feet. Some of the rivers feeding Lake Lugano include the Vedeggio, Magliasina, and Cuccio Rivers. The major outflow is River Tresa.

Countries Bordering Lake Lugano

There are two countries bordering the lake namely Switzerland and Italy. The city surrounding the lake is called Lugano, which is a town that is primarily made up of Italian speakers.


Officially known as the Swiss Confederation, Switzerland is a country that is situated in Europe at the confluence of the west, south, and central regions of the continent. Switzerland has an area of around 15,940 square miles and a population of about 8.5 million people as of 2018. About 4.2% of the area is made up of water. The de facto capital city is Bern while Zurich is the largest city.

The nation is landlocked although it has a huge water body in the form of Lake Lugano, which it shares with Italy. Lake Lugano is located in the Canton of Ticino in the southern region of Switzerland. The country has an agreement in place with its neighbor on navigation and fishery. The two agreements were put in place back in 1992 and 1986 respectively.


Officially known as the Italian Republic, Italy is also a country that is located in Europe next to Switzerland. The country is located at the center of the Mediterranean Sea with several surrounding islands. With an area of about 116,350 square miles (2.4% is water), it is the 71st largest country in the world. The capital city, which is also the largest city, is Rome while the total population of the nation as of 2017 was a little over 60 million people.

The nation’s share of Lake Lugano is only 37% although that was not always the case. In the past, most of the lake and the surrounding regions were part of the Dutchy of Milan. However, tensions were also high in that time (15th century) from both political and territorial fronts. The establishment of Swiss cantons in the early stages effectively put stop to the lake being a political entity. However, the border issues between Switzerland and Italy in that region ended in 1752 after the two countries signed the Treaty of Varese.


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