Story: Spend the night in Fusio, where the walls are steeped in history

Spend the night in Fusio, where the walls are steeped in history

They are reviving the rear Maggia Valley: Ticino architect Giovan Luigi Dazio and his daughter Lisa Dazio have restored a lot of stone houses in their home village of Fusio along with a hotel.

They are aiming to shape the future by restoring the past: Hotel Fusio lay slumbering for 46 years before being restored by Giovan Luigi Dazio and his daughter. Built in 1880, the hotel is now open again for guests.

THE CHARACTER

Giovan Luigi Dazio, architect

Giovan Luigi Dazio, architect
The spaciousness and solitude offered by a valley like ours is gaining new value in our hectic age. Minimalism is the future.

Rustic wooden houses, lush trees, narrow lanes: Fusio – or Füs as it’s called by locals – is a village out of a picture book. The highest settlement in the rear Lavizzara Valley, it is a place of quiet and wild beauty, filled with history and the loveliest old rustici.

Ticino architect Giovan Luigi Dazio and his daughter Lisa are sitting outside Hotel Fusio. Originally from Fusio, they now have their own architecture firm in Locarno. Together they have restored over 50 stone houses in the village. The restoration of Hotel Fusio alone took three years.

Everything still smells new. Dazio pokes around the hotel inspecting the final details along with his daughter. “It was important to us to retain historical elements,” he says, “such as the lavatoio, where it was once customary to wash the linens, or the hotel’s own spring.”

At the turn of the century, Fusio was a primary tourist destination in its own right, with five hotels and a great entrepreneurial spirit. Then came a decline during which there was no hotel at all in the village for several decades.

Fusio, Ascona-Locarno

Today guests have returned to Hotel Fusio, which was closed for 46 years.

“We hope that the re-opening of the hotel will rekindle some of the spirit of the old days here,” says Giovan Luigi Dazio.

I’m intrigued by the history behind these old stones. We should really engage more with our past – it’s the only way we can prepare for the future.

In the hotel garden, we are given a friendly welcome by owners Claudia Muntwyler and Urs Hofer, and offered the choice of six cosy rooms. Another six bright rooms are available in Dépendance Casa Salée, an annex to the main hotel building.

Fusio, Ascona-Locarno
Fusio, Ascona-Locarno

Thanks to the Dazios’ dedication to restoring Fusio’s old buildings, a new spirit of vitality has come to the rear Maggia Valley.

Fusio, Ascona-Locarno
Fusio, Ticino’s valleys are repositories of tradition, culture and identity.
Pro tip
The first written mention of Fusio dates to the year 1258.
An architectural marvel, Mario Botta’s church at Mogno, is very close to Fusio.
Antica Osteria Dazio in Fusio is one of the first building that Giovan Luigi Dazio restored. The osteria serves specialities of the valley.

“Ticino’s valleys are repositories of tradition, culture and identity. We have to look after them; else they will disappear,” says the architect. He lives by the words, “Never use concrete, only stone.”

Fusio, Ascona-Locarno
Fusio, Ascona-Locarno

He and his daughter love old stone walls. “I feel very connected to the earth. I like simplicity, the spirituality of nature.”

Fusio, Ascona-Locarno
Fusio, Ascona-Locarno

His daughter Lisa sees great potential for the village, in part thanks to today’s digital technology. “If you are a digital nomad all you need is your computer, a good WiFi connection and peace and quiet to work – Fusio is a perfect fit in all those respects.”

“New life for a historic village: spend a night among stone walls and unique stories in the recently restored Hotel Fusio.”

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