The southern part of the Swiss canton of Ticino is called Sottoceneri , in contrast to the northern part of Sopraceneri . The name Sottoceneri means "below Monte Ceneri ", the ridge that separates the Magadino plain from the Vedeggio valley. The districts of Lugano and Mendrisio (the latter also known as Mendrisiotto ) belong to the Sottoceneri .
The soils here are mainly calcareous and consist of alkaline and clayey soil. The climate is mild and almost Mediterranean.