Destination: Svizzera italiana

At the invitation of the Canton of Ticino, a special train leaves Bern on 14 September 2022 for Lugano in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino to mark Ignazio Cassis' presidential year. The party includes Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, members of Parliament, Federal Administration staff and distinguished guests from all across Switzerland. The train makes four stops along the way to allow Mr Cassis to meet representatives of cantonal and communal authorities and members of the public.

A map of Switzerland shows the route of President Cassis' trip as well as the municipalities that participate in the celebrations.

Plurality and innovation: the themes of Ignazio Cassis's year as president also accompany the festive day organised by Canton Ticino. © FDFA

This article is also available in Romansh.  

The video of the Presidential trip. © FDFA

11am, Bern railway station. A special train receives the President of the Swiss Confederation. Destination: Lugano. The journey to Lugano exemplifying Switzerland's cultural and linguistic diversity follows the old Gotthard route. The train make three stops: in Airolo, Biasca and Bellinzona. In Lugano, the authorities host an event to mark Mr Cassis's presidential year. The festivities had originally been scheduled to take place in December 2021 but had to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The day is capped with a return journey to Bern under the banner of 'innovation'. The journey across the Alps can now be accomplished much faster than before the construction of the record-setting Gotthard Base Tunnel, which has brought the north and south of the country closer together. Diversity and innovation are two winning Swiss characteristics which continue to mark the various stages of Ignazio Cassis's presidential year of 2022. 

Four stops on the way to Lugano

The presidential train stops in Airolo, Biasca, Bellinzona and Lugano to allow President Cassis to meet with local government representatives and citizens from across Italian-speaking Switzerland. Each of the Ticinese communes along the route present a representative photographas a gift to the President of the Swiss Confederation.

One journey, four stops.


The train journey from Göschenen to Airolo takes less than eight minutes thanks to the Gotthard Tunnel, a feat of engineering built in the early 1880s. The tunnel was made possible by a treaty Switzerland signed with Germany and Italy and the tireless dedication of thousands of workers. Vincenzo Vela's Victims of Labour monument commemorates the hundreds workers who died during the building of the Gotthard Tunnel.

The President of the Swiss Confederation is welcomed on the platform of the Airolo railway station by the authorities and the population.
The first stop of the special train is in Airolo. On the platform, President Ignazio Cassis and the passengers are welcomed to Ticino by the authorities, residents and schoolchildren. © DFAE


The Leventina, Riviera and Blenio valleys meet here. One of the first electric power stations in the canton of Ticino was opened in Biasca in 1895. Today Biasca is the southern portal of the Gotthard Base Tunnel – the new railway link across the Alps. Faido, for its part, was the first commune in Ticino to introduce electric lighting. Each of these pioneering valleys has its own story to tell. 

In Biasca, President Cassis meets with members of the local community and is greeted by familiar faces, as this is the hometown of his wife Paola Rodoni and the place where they were married.
Second stop: Biasca! © FDFA

In Biasca, President Cassis meets with members of the local community and is greeted by familiar faces, as this is the hometown of his wife Paola Rodoni and the place where they were married.

Government representatives of Biasca and the districts of Blenio and Riviera welcome Mr Cassis with photographs of the region.

Biasca (PDF, 1 Page, 327.2 kB, German)

Riviera (PDF, 1 Page, 471.4 kB, German)



Bellinzona, the capital of the canton of Ticino, hosted the festivities marking the elections to the Federal Council of Flavio Cotti in 1986 and Ignazio Cassis in 2017. Bellinzona is also a gateway to other parts of Italian-speaking Switzerland: yellow postbuses run to Mesolcina and Calanca, two of the four Italian-speaking valleys of the canton of Graubünden. Bellinzona is also a starting point for the beautiful town of Locarno for tourists from other parts of Switzerland and around the world.

The platform of the Bellinzona railway station is packed with representatives of the authorities and inhabitants who warmly welcome the special train.
The meeting with the authorities and the population continues in Bellinzona. There is no shortage of Swiss flags on the platform. © FDFA


President Cassis was born and started his political career in the Lugano region. He also gave his first National Day speech as a federal councillor and went on to host international meetings in the city. The Ukraine Recovery Conference, held in July in Lugano, was an important milestone of the current presidential year.

The population gathered on Piazza della Riforma in Lugano participates in the official ceremony.
"This is your celebration": The people's festivities continue on the Piazza della Riforma. © FDFA

President Cassis is greeted at Lugano station by representatives of the City of Lugano and the communes of Collina d'Oro (where he makes his home), Tresa (where he was born and raised), Mendrisio, and Chiasso.

At the Piazza della Riforma President Cassis meets with local citizens. 'My wish is that all of Italian-speaking Switzerland feel honoured by this celebration, which is taking place 24 years after the last ceremony marking the inauguration of an Italian-speaking President of the Confederation,' said Cassis. 

Lugano (PDF, 1 Page, 119.8 kB, German)

Collina d’Oro (PDF, 1 Page, 266.8 kB, German)

Tresa (PDF, 1 Page, 239.8 kB, German)

Mendrisio (PDF, 1 Page, 324.5 kB, German)

Chiasso (PDF, 1 Page, 228.0 kB, German)


The President's agenda

Almost nine months have passed since Ignazio Cassis began his presidential year. Diversity and innovation continue to be the common thread running through his agenda in Switzerland and abroad. The Ukraine Recovery Conference, which was held in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, was an important milestone

The illustrated agenda of the President of the Confederation at a glance

Start of page