Love Story


We are seeking the most beautiful love story of the first 25 years of Università della Svizzera italiana.

Between exams, courses and theses have you also found love at USI? A special person who, even though life may have taken you elsewhere, will remain forever etched on your memory?


Elisa and Omar are the winners of "USI25 Love Story", the competition for the most beautiful love story of the first 25 years of the Università della Svizzera italiana. The couple was rewarded in occasion of the USI25 Alumni & Alumnae Reunion on 4 September 2021.

Elisa and Omar were awarded with a two-night stay at the Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola in Lugano. Set on the shores of Lake Lugano, this stunning 5-star resort is a property of immense charm, nestled within a private, subtropical park just a 5-minute walk from USI Lugano campuses.


We report their love story here below:

Do you know when life wants to reward you? Our love story is the perfect example: The magic of love surprises you when you least expect it!

I'm Elisa. After attending the Bachelor in Economics and Marketing at the University of Modena, I decided to move to Lugano in September 2015 to attend the Master in Marketing at the Università della Svizzera italiana. I wanted to improve my life, leaving my negative past behind, and change my academic and personal life for the better. I wanted to refocus on myself and bring new energies into it. After two days into the new semester, I met him: Omar, a classmate from Beirut, Lebanon. He was coming from a difficult past as well, and just like me, he wanted to put himself back and do his best in this new chapter of his Swiss life.

Between coffees and curious glimpses after class, he asked me out that same evening. Luckily, I'm fluent in English as he couldn't speak Italian! That evening, at the Festival del Vino in Lugano, we talked for hours about our respective lives and I immediately understood he was an amazing person with a strong personality, captivating me.

We've been "the couple of Master" ever since, and all of our classmates still remind the Master as "Eli and Omar".

We've always supported each other in every difficult moment, just like a team would do: during exams, work groups, and the long study hours in the library. A few months before completing our degrees, he asked me to marry him in front of the Eiffel Tour in Paris.

We celebrated our love on 12 January 2018, the day of our wedding. Omar and I often think about our story. It was destiny that our lives crossed at USI and we always tried to do our best to be together, despite our initial family issues on cultural and religious beliefs. We decided to persist, because our love is stronger to every obstacle that we have ever overcome. Now, after three years of marriage, we're happy, in love and looking forward to expanding our family! A heartfelt thanks to the Università della Svizzera italiana, our stepping stone to the future of our professional careers, to our life in Lugano and, most important, to be the place where we met!

Gisela and Florin gained the second place, whilst Ginevra and Mattia the third.

A big thank you to all the couples who participated to the competition.


#USI25 #USIsU #USI25LoveStory