Basic forensics / Why it sucks to lack Google Streetmap in Switzerland / Panorama Spaghetti Trees

Okay, this is a whim, but:

Via my sister’s blog I found a video of the 1957 Panorama “Spaghetti Harvest”:

And I thought: let’s find out where that was shot.

The video references Switzerland and Lake Lugano, but of course that may be all fake; but an establishing shot clearly shows Pensione [Ri]storante Taddei – which is Googleable… and lo, we find a Italian-language construction (?) website detailing the company’s history which says:

Il 12.08.1911 convola a nozze con Armida, nata Rezzonico, con la quale avvia, sempre a Castagnola, parallelamente all’impresa edile, l’attività che li accompagnerà per tutta la loro vita di ristoratori ed albergatori. Insieme gestiscono l’Albergo Villa Elisa e dal 1921 il Ristorante Pension Taddei, quest’ultimo nella bella e storica casa che ospitò Carlo Cattaneo (oggi proprietà della Città di Lugano e sede della Fondazione omonima).

– my emphasis; Google Translate shows this as:

The 12.08.1911 wed with Armida, born Rezzonico, which starts with, always in Castagnola, alongside the construction company, the activities that will accompany them throughout their lives of restaurateurs and hoteliers. Together they run the Hotel Villa Elisa, and since 1921 the restaurant Pension Taddei, the latter in the beautiful and historic home that housed Carlo Cattaneo (now owned by the City of Lugano and the seat of the homonymous Foundation).

…a bit flakey, but you can pick up that the Taddei was in/near the house of one Carlo Cattaneoan Italian philosopher, writer and patriot – so now we have to find his house. Wikipedia continues:

he died in Castagnola, close to Lugano in the Swiss canton of Ticino, where he had spent the last twenty years of his life in exile

So that’s a safe bet, and the page for Castagnola confirms the general area – but then you hit up Google and realise that StreetMap by and large does not work because the Swiss mistake obfuscation for privacy.

So we have to try something else; a bit more googling yields:


Castagnola, Lugano’s romantic quarter, situated at the foot of Mount Bré, represents the most important and coveted resort in the Canton Ticino.
Castagnola offers an ideal environment where residents can relax and enjoy themselves in a highly cultured setting. Residents can visit Villa Favorita, Carlo Cattaneo’s house, now Lugano’s Historical Archive and Museum dedicated to Latvian poets, Janis Rainis and Aspazija, as well as the well-known S. Michele’s park. The lake promenade to Gandria, offers a stunning panoramic view, much loved by tourists and locals.

So the restaurant (or possibly one of Cattaneo’s other houses, if he had them) is now Villa Favorita. More googling reveals some pretty pictures one of which suggests that the original inference from the Taddei website was not quite right – translation error, perhaps – but in short the Villa Favorita is on the waterfront, but well behind it and uphill is a church (?) tower:

crop from website

…which I think matches the one in the YouTube capture, above; I’m not sure but this would make Panorama’s Pensione Ristorante Taddei the small tan-coloured building below, and to the left, somewhere near where this photo was taken:

It would be nice to have 360-degree sweepable footage of Castagnola to back this up and get a finer location. Possibly the orange building in the latter picture is the one.

Oh, and time expended: 52 minutes, including time to blog this informative blog article; I’ve had a giggle and if you didn’t before, you now know a little bit about how digital forensics works.

4 Replies to “Basic forensics / Why it sucks to lack Google Streetmap in Switzerland / Panorama Spaghetti Trees”

  1. …and on review Dimbleby Sr even mentions Ticino – so there’s a great deal of truth to the video. Just not the spaghetti.

  2. Switzerland might be getting arsey about Streetview, but they make up for it with the extensive and detailed 3D buildings in central Zürich.

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