The Alprose chocolate factory with museum is widely advertised in the Ticino tourism industry but many may find visiting it rather disappointing.
The Alprose chocolate factory with museum is located near Lake Lugano in the Swiss canton Ticino. Visitors can see the working chocolate factory on weekdays with a small museum explaining more of the history and production of chocolate. Free sampling is allowed. However, with all the other attractions of Ticino and the Lake Lugano region, it is hard to recommend the Alprose chocolate factory and museum even on a seriously bad-weather day.
The Alprose Chocolate Factory and Museum near Lugano
Switzerland is famous for its chocolates and Alprose is a major Swiss producer of especially slabs and dragées (chocolate-covered fruits and nuts). It is thus not unreasonable to expect a visit to Schokoland should be interesting, especially as this chocolate factory visit is widely advertised in Ticino tourism literature.
Unfortunately, visiting Alprose is somewhat disappointing. Visitors, on weekdays, do see a working chocolate factory. However, this is a very modern facility with the process of making chocolate obviously mostly mechanized. The working machines can be observed from a catwalk with several stations explaining the process of chocolate making from the bean to the wrapped slab. The delightful smell of chocolate fills the air.
The Alprose Schokoland Museum and Factory Outlet Shop
Apart from the working factory – on workdays only – visitors can also see a small museum. Items and machines related to the chocolate industry are on display. However, the single room is somewhat loveless, dated, and the whole display lifeless and without proper explanations.
Following this “museum”, visitors can visit the factory outlet store. Here, free sampling is allowed but as Alprose is famous more for chocolate slabs and dragées rather than pralines, it is hard to make much of a dent into the admission fee here.
Some bargains and discounted chocolates are available in the Alprose factory shop but on many items the price can be matched, if not beaten, by discount offers from supermarkets in Switzerland.
Visiting the Alprose Chocolate Factory and Museum, Ticino
The Alprose chocolate factory and museum are open weekdays from 9 am to 5:30 pm and weekends from 9 am to 4:30 pm, although frankly it will be even less worth visiting on weekends when the factory is not operational.
Admission is CHF3 for adults, CHF1 for children 6 to 16, and free for groups of more than 10.
Alprose Schokoland Museum is at Via Rompada 36 in Caslano on the road from Lugano to Ponte Tresa. It is off the main thoroughfares and not near any other major sights making it not really a simple stopover en route to something better. The factory is 150 m from Caslano station, a stop on the regional trains from Lugano to Malcatone.
On the whole visiting the Alprose chocolate factory and museum is rather disappointing. Others Swiss chocolate producers such as La Maison Cailler near Gruyères in Fribourg have far more interesting displays and combine easier with other sights.
Other Activities in the Lake Lugano Region
- Save at Foxtown Factory Stores – Switzerland’s largest outlet shopping mall with long opening hours including Sunday.
- Cruising on Lake Lugano – see the beautiful lakeshores from pleasure boats.
- Novotel Lugano-Paradiso – a new family-friendly hotel with swimming pool.