Although Locarno is a town in southern Switzerland, located on the northern shore of Lake Maggiore at the southern foot of the Swiss Alps, its official language is actually Italian. With a population of around 16,000, it is the 74th-largest city in Switzerland and the 3rd-largest in the Ticino canton, after Lugano and Bellinzona. The town is known for hosting the Locarno International Film Festival each year in August and involves open-air screenings at the main square known as the Piazza Grande. It is also known for the Locarno Treaties, a series of European territorial agreements which were negotiated here in 1925.
There are nine Swiss heritage sites of national significance in Locarno:
- Three churches:
- Chiesa di S. Francesco (and its former convent)
- Chiesa Nuova di S. Maria Assunta (and house of the canons)
- Chiesa di S. Maria in Selva (with its cemetery)
- Two schools:
- The Ai Saleggi primary school
- The secondary school at via Dr. G. Varesi 30
- The Castello Visconteo complex (part of which may have been designed by Leonardo da Vinci)
- The Cantonal Library
- The Pinacoteca Comunale Casa Rusca at Piazza Sant’Antonio (The Russia House Municipal Picture Gallery)
- The Casorella at via Bartolomeo Rusca 5
It has also been speculated that Locarno’s castle may have even been designed by Leonardo da Vinci.
- Visited: 1994