HOTEL LOCARNO HISTORY
Hotel Locarno was established in 1925 as a warm and elegant 'guesthouse' and was opened to celebrate the Catholic Jubilee by the then Swiss owners, who bestowed the name LOCARNO upon the hotel. The advertising was entrusted to the creative hands of Anselmo Ballester, famous cinema poster artist from the Twenties.
During the Sixties, the hotel was a hot spot for all the artists who frequented the nearby galleries on Via dell'Oca, the Pino de Martis gallery and Sargentini's 'L'attico' gallery. The famous faces that habitually frequented the hotel and Bar Locarno included Federico Fellini and Giulietta Masina.
Towards the early Seventies, the hospitality sector was turned on its head by the arrival of the very first hotel chains. The owner of the time, Maria Teresa Celli, decided to buck the trend and create something “different" from all “those identical hotels" as she called them. The hotel therefore underwent a modern renovation so as to best represent and spread the spirit of the Belle Époque. She diversified each room by size and furnishings, right down to the bathroom fittings, although she always used Devon & Devon so as to make the guests feel welcome in her great house. Her idea was that the entire hotel should exude warmth and hospitality: the service, the furnishings, the lighting and the marvellous garden that was home to the bar.
Towards the late Nineties, Mrs Celli decided to take another step and purchased the historic building next door, which had been built in 1905 by an ancient and noble Venetian family. She wanted to establish herself as an 'unmissable' location for Italian and foreign tourists in Rome.
Ever since the Seventies, the hotel has been the star of films, theatre shows, cinematographic sets and books, as well as offering inspiration to a great many artists. These include the film 'Hotel Locarno' directed by Weber, the theatre show of the same name brought to the stage by Victor Cavallo and the book of the same name written in 2011 by Alain Elkann.