The Traversata known and popular today among hundreds of open waters swimming enthusiasts s not the one that was born in 1932, organized by the Lugano Swimming Society, founded only four years prior, in 1928.
The original Traversata was, in fact, the closing event of the society’s swimming season, whose swimming and waterpolo competitions still took place in the lake. The itinerary of the competitive race followed the entire lake shore for two kilometers, from the current Lido of Paradiso to the Rivetta Tell, in front of the Kursaal Theatre, now Casino.
The September’s traditional competitive appointment repeated itself regularly for more than three decades, until the waters of the gulf suffered the shock of the pollution, which resulted in the bathing prohibition, that consequently promoted the use of the swimming pool.
However, once the pollution emergency subsided, the memory of the charm of the Traversata pushed a group from the Water Rescue Team to propose again the event in a community formula and on another itinerary, starting from Caprino and finishing in Lugano, initially at the Sailing Club, then at the Rivetta Tell and finally at the Lido di Lugano. Participants have grown from 49 during the first edition in 1987 to 700-800 during the most recent editions.