Luino is a small town with a population of about 14,000 and is located on the Eastern side of the Lake. The textiles industry of the 19th century was a driving force in establishing Luino, making use of the many water courses for powering the heavy equipment. Many textile factories were set up Swiss industrialists to gain economic advantages, however due to global pressure and the high cost of European manufacture, little exists today except a few street names and places, from these industrialists.
Like other places in Italy, in close proximity to Switzerland (such as Como or Cernobbio) many people commute from Italy to Switzerland daily. This often gives the benefit of better wages and cheaper living! This "frontalieri" makes Luino and neighbouring towns and villages quite popular places to live on Lake Maggiore.
Building railways on or near lakes is often an arduous task with many tunnels and engineering hurdles. Therefore and places with a railway service see an increase in traffic and tourism. Luino is no exception and is historically signficant being on what was once the sole route to the Gotthard Rail Tunnel over the Monte Ceneri Pass, which will be replaced by the Ceneri Base Tunnel in the near future. It is still served both by Italian and Swiss state railway companies.
Luino holds a very large weekly market (+350 stalls) generally on Wednesdays, which is visited by many nationalities due to its proximity to Switzerland and its good road and rail ties through Switzerland to Germany and France. It has been hosting this market since 1541, previously in association with Maccagno.
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