Asleep for the past 15 years, the majestic lady that is the Grand Hotel Locarno has briefly opened its doors to offer us a glimpse of the Hotel’s history.
The Grand Hotel, as it was called, opened in 1876 and hosted the negotiations of the Locarno Treaties in 1925 that later resulted in an agreement that was supposed to guarantee peace in Western Europe after the trauma of the first World War.
After the Second World War, a new film festival in the Italian part of Switzerland was planned to counter the one in Venice, whose origins were seen as intimately related to the fascist regime of Mussolini. But it was chance that made Locarno home to the new film festival.
In 2005, the Grand Hotel was closed for good. Even if the building is not listed as a historical, some of the objects inside do still hold a certain value. A few years ago, the furniture was auctioned off; most of those pieces found new homes in the region, except for the giant Murano chandelier hanging in the staircase.
Nowadays, rare are those who get to take a look behind the hotel’s boarded- up windows, but I waved my magic wand and the doors of the Grand Hotel Locarno will open for our club.
We will meet in front of the Grand Hotel Locarno, via Sempione 17, Friday, December 17th, 2021 at 14.50
The guided tour will last ca. 1 hour
After the tour we will enjoy an aperitif nearby. Members will pay for their own drinks.