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Lugano is a town (56,719 inhabitants, a total of 130,000 people in the agglomeration) in the south of Switzerland, in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, which borders Italy. The city lies on Lake Lugano and its warm summers, and the fact that in recent years it has attracted an ever growing number of celebrities, entertainers and successful sports people has given it the nickname of the "Monte Carlo of Switzerland" It is the 9th biggest city of Switzerland by population.
The origin of the name is possibly the Latin word Lucus, meaning wood or sacred wood, or Gaulish locovanno "lake dweller" . The first written mention of a settlement at Lugano can be found in the documents, of disputed authenticity, with which the Longobard king, Liutprand, ceded various assets located in Lugano to the Church of Saint Carpophorus in Como in 724. Other documents, dating from 804 and 844 refer to Lake Lugano as Laco Luanasco, and an act of 984 indicates Lugano as a market town. In 874 the town was referred to as Luano, and in 1189 it became known by its present name. This city was also known in the German-speaking cantons as Lowens, Lauis and Lauwis.
Following the Second World War, and particularly during the 1960s and 70s, thanks to an abundant flow of capital from nearby Italy, Lugano experienced a period of exponential growth in banking activities which led to it placing itself as the third financial centre of Switzerland, with over 100 banking institutions present in the town.
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