The Locarno Film Festival is held in Locarno every August. For 11 days, the whole of Switzerland turns its attention to this small town on the shores of Lake Maggiore, which becomes a world capital of cinema, laying out its red carpet and turning the spotlight on well-known figures and rising stars of the international film industry. Summer evenings come alive with films whose fame will never die and new releases, yellow and black chairs, sighs, laughter and stifled tears. In Piazza Grande, projected onto one of the largest screens in Europe, beneath the stars in the cool breeze on summer evenings, emotions intensify.
Opened on 23 August 1946 with the film ‘O Sole mio by Giacomo Gentilomo, the Locarno Film Festival is one of the world’s oldest film festivals, alongside Cannes and Venice. The 15 films on the programme included Rome, Open City by Roberto Rossellini (who went on to win in 1948 with Germany, Year Zero), Bernadette by Henry King and Ten Little Indians by René Clair, which won that year. Having taken place on more than 70 occasions since, the festival has hosted big stars such as Marlene Dietrich, Jean-Luc Godard, Quentin Tarantino, Susan Sarandon, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Juliette Binoche, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel and Adrien Brody. This is what makes it unique: every year it attracts important figures from the world of film, who, while in Locarno, rediscover – and help us rediscover – the magic and power of cinema.
The Festival's heart is surely the daily evening projection in the magnificent Piazza Grande, which transforms itself into the "most beautiful movie-theater under the stars".
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Sit back and relax as you discover a region packed with surprises on this slow journey. A 52-km route spanning 2 countries, 83 bridges and 31 galleries in just under two hours. Climbing aboard our trains means enjoying a unique experience, coming into contact with a diverse landscape that features a succession of deep gorges, wild mountains, rivers and waterfalls.
Idyllically nestled in an imposing mountainscape, the Valle Verzasca (Verzasca valley) is ideal for hiking, mountain biking and relaxing in nature. Forming the heart of the valley is the emerald-green Verzasca river with its polished gorges and deep pools made for summer bathing. Not for nothing are some of the bathing places here called the “Maldives of Switzerland”.