Recognised worldwide for its Film Festival, Locarno has also a strong relationship with flowers, in particular the beautiful Camellias which attract many visitors every year. The Piazza Grande, with typical arcades, is one of the most famous squares in Switzerland.
Walking uphill from the Piazza Grande, along the steep and narrow streets, one reaches the “città vecchia”, the old and most characteristic part of town. While strolling along the quiet, mostly traffic free lanes, one can find some ancient emblems, reminders of the old towns history: an arch displaying the coat of arms of the house, beautifully shaped windowsills, some charming portals, an ancient fresco; but the most suggestive and fascinating insights into the world of the old town are inside the patrician houses, the courtyards and the small gardens surrounded by bright arcades.
This is the meeting place as well as the heart of the town where the main commercial and cultural activities take place; the weekly market on Thursdays, the Moon & Stars concerts and the open air film projections during the Film Festival.
Going back to the Roman times, this square has been a strategically and commercially important place. There are various witnesses of the past, as for example the sanctuary of Madonna del Sasso, the Visconteo Castle with the “Rivellino”, a bulwark, attested as a Leonardo da Vinci work and the picturesque old town.