Lugano Prealps

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Lugano Prealps
Prealpi Lombarde Occidentali
Monte San Primo.jpg
Monte San Primo in winter from Pian del Tivano
Highest point
Peak Pizzo di Gino
Elevation 2,245 m (7,365 ft)
Coordinates 46°06′03″N 9°12′20″E / 46.10083°N 9.20556°E / 46.10083; 9.20556Coordinates: 46°06′03″N 9°12′20″E / 46.10083°N 9.20556°E / 46.10083; 9.20556
Native name Prealpi Luganesi
SOIUSA-Alpi Occidentali-sezione11.png
Lugano Prealps (section no. 11) within the Western Alps
Countries Switzerland and Italy
Canton, Region Ticino and Lombardy
Parent range Alps
Borders on Bergamasque Alps and Prealps, Lepontine Alps, Western Rhaetian Alps and Po plain
Orogeny Alpine orogeny
Type of rock Sedimentary rocks[1]

The Lugano Prealps (Prealpi Luganesi or Prealpi Lombarde Occidentali in Italian) are a mountain range in the western part of the Alps. They are located in Canton Ticino (southern Switzerland) and in Lombardy (northern Italy).


Administratively the Italian part of the range belongs to the provinces of Como and Varese, while the Swiss one is divided between the districts of Bellinzona, Locarno, Lugano and Mendrisio.

The western slopes of the mountains are drained by the Ticino River, the eastern ones by Adda and the southern-central part of them by Lambro, Olona and other minor rivers and streams, all of them directly or indirectly tributaries of the Po .

SOIUSA classification[edit]

According to SOIUSA (International Standardized Mountain Subdivision of the Alps) the mountain range is an Alpine section, classified in the following way:[2]

  • main part = Western Alps
  • major sector = North Western Alps
  • section = Lugano Prealps
  • code = I/B-11


Lugano Prealps' borders are (clockwise):


The Lugano Prealps are divided into two subsections:[2]

which are separated by the Monte Ceneri Pass.

These subsections are further divided in supergroups:

  • Como Prealps:
    • supergroup catena Gino-Camoghè-Fiorina - SOIUSA code:I/B-11.I-A
    • supergroup catena Tremezzo-Generoso-Gordona - SOIUSA code:I/B-11.I-B
    • supergroup catena del Triangolo Lariano - SOIUSA code:I/B-11.I-B
  • Varese Prealps:
    • supergroup catena Tamaro-Gambarogno-Lema - SOIUSA code:I/B-11.II-A,
    • supergroup catena Piambello-Campo dei Fiori-Nudo - SOIUSA code:I/B-11.II-B.


The chief summits of the range are:

Name metres feet
Pizzo di Gino 2,245 7,363
Camoghè 2,226 7,301
Gazzirola 2,116 6,940
Monte Bregagno 2,107 6,910
Monte Tamaro 1,967 6,451
Monte Grona 1,736 5,694
Monte Generoso 1,704 5,589
Monte di Tremezzo 1,700 5,600
Monte San Primo 1,685 5,526
Monte Lema 1,621 5,316
Corni di Canzo 1,373 4,503
Sighignola 1,314 4,311
Monte Nudo 1,235 4,050


  1. ^ VV. AA. (1999). Lombardia : esclusa Milano (in Italian). Touring Club Italiano. p. 37. 
  2. ^ a b Marazzi, Sergio (2005). Atlante Orografico delle Alpi. SOIUSA (in Italian). Priuli & Verlucca. ISBN 978-88-8068-273-8.