San Grato Park nestles between San Salvatore and Mount ArbÚstora, about ten kilometres from Lugano at an altitude of 690 metres above sea level with an exceptional view over its immediate surroundings and the peaks of the Alpine chain. Its extension of 62,000 square metres contains the largest and most complete collections of azaleas, rhododendrons and conifers of the entire Regio Insubrica. The massed expanses of azaleas and rhododendrons are intersected by five paths leading to the most evocative corners of the park. Each path has its own theme: botanic, restful, panoramic, artistic and one dedicated to fables, each with explanatory panels, designed as part of the improvement and maintenance project developed by the landscape architects Giorgio Benicchio and Andrea Branca for the park. A recreation area offers entertainment for children and adults alike amongst rare and imposing conifers. The first owner of the Park was the jurist Martin Winterhalter, whereas the true founder of the San Grato botanical park was the industrialist Luigi Giussani who bought the property in 1957, reduced the woodland and organised the planting of the first azaleas and rhododendrons.
After Giussani's death in 1983 the property passed to the Union of Swiss Banks who kept the park and swimming pool open to the public. The UBS subsequently gave the pool to Carona Municipality in 1983 and the park to Lugano-Tourism in 1997. San Grato is situated in an area formed by quartziferous porphyry with an acidic substrata, favourable to the cultivation of the impressive collection of acidophil plants. Not to be missed is the flowering season between April and May (when the most striking colour is the ochre yellow of Azalea mollis) offering a spectacular view over Lake Lugano.