The 6th ACM International Symposium on Pervasive Displays
Lugano, Switzerland
7-9 June, 2017

Lugano, Switzerland

Italianata with a Swiss touch

Lugano, the largest town in the holiday region of Ticino, is not only Switzerland's third most important financial centre and a conference, banking and business centre, but also a town of parks and flowers, villas and sacred buildings. With Mediterranean flair, Lugano offers all the advantages of a world-class city, combined with the cachet of a small town.

Lugano lies in a bay on the northern side of Lake Lugano, surrounded by numerous mountains offering splendid viewpoints. The traffic-free historic town centre, the numerous buildings in Italianate Lombardy style, the exclusive museums, the mountains, lake and a packed calendar of events all invite visitors to see the sights, soak up the atmosphere - and enjoy "dolce far niente". Thanks to its mild climate, Lugano is a popular tourist destination from spring to fall.

The town centre with its Mediterranean-style squares and arcades, and numerous parks with sub-tropical plants such as the Parco Civico on the shores of the lake invite you to laze around, enjoying the atmosphere. By the lakeside promenade are the Belvedere Gardens, where the parkland boasts not only camellias and magnolias but also countless sub-tropical plants and modern works of art. (Text and images courtesy of Swiss Tourism)

Watch the video to get a feeling of Lugano and its atmosphere!

Conference Venue

PerDis 2017 will take place at the Lugano campus of the "Università della Svizzera italiana" - or USI for short. USI is Switzerland’s most international university, and one of the 12 certified public universities in Switzerland coordinated by swissuniversities.

Established in 1996, USI has grown steadily and includes today five Faculties: Architecture, Economics, Communication Sciences, Informatics and Biomedical Sciences. USI currently counts also three affiliated entities, the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB, Bellinzona), the Institute for Oncology Research (IOR, Bellinzona) and the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence (IDSIA, Manno).

The Faculty of Informatics stands out as a centre of competence in advanced informatics. Since its inception in 2004, it has become one of Switzerland’s major poles for informatics teaching and research, ranking third after the two Federal Institutes of Technology, ETH Zurich and EPFL in Lausanne. It features a faculty of ~30 professors, 40+ postdocs and more than 100 PhD students.


Lugano is best reachable by train or by air.

  • By Air: Lugano Agno (LUG) is the closest airport, only 10 km away from the center of the city. It is connected by a shuttle bus ( to the train station of Lugano, to all its central hotels, and even to private addresses. However, the shuttle operates only during daytime (until 6:30pm). Taxis are available directly in front of the airport. The airport itself is very small and serves only several destinations: Zurich, Geneve and Rome. The flight from Zurich to Lugano (with Swiss) is low and passes the Alps and is one of the most beatiful flights you can find in Europe.

    Zurich airport is approx. 200 km away from Lugano, but very conveniently connected with it by frequent trains. It takes around 2.5 hours to reach Lugano from Zurich airport. Zurich airport is serving all major worldwide destinations. The train ticket to Lugano can be purchased shortly before the trip (no need to pre-book).

    Milan is only 60 km away from Lugano, and is reasonably well connected with it. It has three airports: Malpensa (Terminal 1, Terminal 2), Linate, and Bergamo. Malpensa Airport has three bus shuttle companies (Giosy Tours, JetBus, and Lugano Servizi) providing connection to Lugano, resulting in about 2-3 connections every hour. It takes approx. 1 hour to reach Lugano. All lines depart from both T2 (Easyjet) and T1 (all other airlines). Check the respective websites for details on which bus bay to go to! While shuttle operators provide online reservations, you do not need to reserve a bus - simply be at the corresponding bay on time and board the bus. Important: All buses take only cash (Euros or Swiss Francs) - credit cards are not accepted!. The airports in Linate and Bergamo are not directly connected to Lugano - passengers first need to take shuttle bus to Milan City Center and then take a train to Lugano. It will take approx. 3-4 hours from Bergamo or Linate to reach Lugano.

  • By Train: Lugano train station is well connected to all major cities in Europe, e.g., Rome (via Milan), Frankfurt, or Paris (both via Zurich). Using the train is not only the most convenient but also the most environmentally friendly option to reach Lugano. Trains coming from Zurich will travel through the new Gotthard Base Tunnel - the world's longest and deepest travel tunnel, completed in 2016 after 20 years of work. Sample travel times in hours and minutes: 1:15 from Milan, 2:08 from Zurich, 4:25 from Rome, 6:16 from Frankfurt, and 7:00 from Paris.

    Train tickets inside Switzerland have fixed prices, there is no difference between pre-booking and getting your tickets at the vending machines. Make sure you get your ticket before boarding the train: ticket sales in the train are subject to higher fees. Tickets and schedules are available at If you are planning to travel a lot inside Switzerland by train, it might be worth getting a travel pass (e.g., Swiss Travel Pass or the "Half-Fare Travel card") - see

  • By Car: We strongly advise against traveling to Lugano by car. If you are coming from Zurich, the Gotthard road tunnel is often a major bottleneck, with traffic jams of several hours each weekend. From Milan, the border at Como-Chiasso will often result in long waiting lines. Plus: once in Lugano, finding parking is difficult and expensive. You do not need a car in Lugano: the symposium venue (i.e., the University) is a 10-minute walk from the city center and most hotels. An efficient and frequent bus service connects all parts of the city (especially all recommended hotels and the University). Trains are connecting Lugano with surrounding cities, villages and attractions. However, if you want a rental car, both the airport and the train station feature a number of rental agencies.
(Images courtesy of Swiss Tourism)

Selected Hotels

There are many options for hotels in Lugano. We do not offer any particular conference rates, as online booking platforms will usually get you the best possible prices. Below you can find a small list of hotels that are close-by, allowing you to easily walk to the conference venue. However, given the small size of the city, any hotel in the center of town is either within walking distance (some 15 minutes) or a short bus ride away.

Alternatively, check out what AirBnB has on offer.

Local Restaurants

Here you can find a map with few local restaurants and bars around the conference venue

PerDis'17 proceedings material is now available at the ACM Digital Library

Important Dates


Demos, Posters, Arts & Videos
  • Tutorials: 7 June
  • Main Symposium: 8-9 June

Social Media

Contact Address

Prof. Marc Langheinrich
Università della Svizzera italiana (USI)
Faculty of Informatics
Via Buffi 13
6904 Lugano

Tel. +41 58 666 4690
Fax +41 58 666 4536

Previous Symposia

2016: The 5th International Symposium on Pervasive Displays
University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2015: The 4th International Symposium on Pervasive Displays
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), Saarbrücken, Germany
2014: The 3rd International Symposium on Pervasive Displays
University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
2013: The 2nd International Symposium on Pervasive Displays
Google, Mountain View, CA, USA
2012: The 1st International Symposium on Pervasive Displays
University of Minho, Porto, Portugal