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Hitchhiking south out of Lugano is quite difficult: there is no truly convenient hitchhiking spot close to the city with subtantial access to southbound traffic. Expect to wait for some time!
- The motorwayactually directly ramps into Viale Guiseppe Cattori in the city centre Paradiso. Theoretically it is possible to hitch from there but the traffic may divert before the slipway is lifted up. There is a 4-way roundabout at the end of Via Pian Scairolo. The 1st exit ramps onto A2 and there is a slipway aside too. Stand on the kerb inbetween and face the traffic with a sign. It is right under the road lamp, so it is possible to hitch at night there.
- Comment: I had no success hitchhiking here. The problem is that although there are two petrol stations, the ramps are layed out in such a way that the entry from the A2 lane heading south is inconvenient and as such I met no one heading south to Italy. Matsumoto Joe
- Alternatively, take a very short train ride to Melide. A two minute walk from the train station past a roundabout leads to an entry to the A2 for drivers to Milan. There is not a lot of traffic here, but at least you can be sure that anyone driving here is heading south. On the way there, you will also pass a small petrol station.
North towards Bellinzona
Note that this gas station is currently closed and reopening in spring 2018. (update Dec 2017)
The main problam in hitchhiking north from Lugano is the fact that until Bellinzona (about 25km) there is no petrol station or a good stop on the highway. The two option you do have is either to go south of Lugano, where there is a big gas station on the highway, or try to hitch on a side road to Bellinzona. It is legal to hitchhike on a regular road, and many people do stop, but a lot of them just few KM each time. Anyway once you are in Bellinzona there is a petrol station going north, as on the map. It's possible to reach it by foot without going on to the highway, and from it you can reach Zurich, Luzern, Basel going on and also Austria when going on .
update May 2019 - The authorities installed 3 Hitchhiking benches, and provided a map. However, no exact co-ordinates. See the official announcement.
The tourist information office in Lugano said that these benches are located in Bré, Tesserete, Cagiallo and Oggio - these are small villages and the benches are generally intended for travelling where there is limited public transport (presumably for local people)