The festival around the festival
Step right inside, please! From 1 to 11 August, the Piazza Grande will once again be transformed into a huge living room boasting the largest television set in Europe – actually the largest screen in Europe (26x15 m). Every evening the spotlights come on and elegantly dressed individuals from the international film scene walk down the red carpet to present new works.
If you step outside the living room, you soon realise that there's so much more to discover. How might a perfect festival weekend look?
After a frothy cappuccino and a croissant on a comfy terrace, the first screening kicks off in one of the cinemas. Maybe there's an engaging panel discussion taking place somewhere? But let's instead take the bus into the Vallemaggia valley. On the way, you're already visualising the lunchtime polenta, brasato, porcini risotto and torta di pane. A meal in a traditional grotto – not to be missed! After a slap-up feast like that, there's no chance of climbing a mountain. You could just about manage a little postprandial saunter in the shade of the chestnut trees. It's really warm now. You jump back on the bus and make your way to the lido for a dip in the lake while catching the last of the day's sun. Showered and changed, it's time to hit the laRotonda, the shared space in which all can participate during the festival (27 July to 12 August). It's where you can find exotic dishes and refreshing drinks, catch great gigs and browse market stalls while sharing thoughts with others on the films you've just seen. In other words, it's the perfect place for grabbing an aperitif or evening meal before making your way to the Piazza Grande for the main evening performance in front of some 8000 people. After the film, the evening's still warm enough for a nightcap at the Locarno Garden la Mobiliare (28 July to 11 August) with friends to discuss the film and enjoy the music in this magical setting.
The weather doesn't look quite so good on day two. No matter! You get up early to make the most of the day. Time once more for breakfast at one of the nice Barettos followed by the first film at the Palexpo. Straight after that, you make your way to the GranRex. After a brief lunch break, the sun's still hiding so it's time for some more culture. You stroll through the alleys of the beautiful Old Town and stop off at the Casa Rusca to check out the exhibition "Spazio Sacro", which features the Ticino architect Mario Botta (runs until 12 August). You need some me time before heading back to the cinemas: why not kick back for a bit and relax in the spacious Termali Salini & Spa? After all these extracurricular activities in and around Locarno, the time has come to return to the silver screen, which takes the starring role in this #LocarnoExperience.