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Engel & Völkers Licence Partner Lago Maggiore > Blog > Luino, the city of comedians

Luino, the city of comedians

Luino is a lovely town on Lake Maggiore, which has become the town of comic artists. It is incredible, in fact, the density of humorists found among its 15,000 inhabitants. 

There are so many artists linked to Lombardy, including the Fichi d' India and Cochi and Renato, to name but a few, have passed here. But the four Musketeers in the world of the show strictly Made in Luino are Dario Fo, Massimo Boldi, Enzo Iacchetti and Francesco Salvi. If the Nobel Prize has spent his youth on the shores of the lake, and Boldi and Iacchetti have grown up to us then abandon them as adults, Salvi - who is the most lucid of all - despite the fact that others have found success in Milan (and like Boldi And Iacchetti, passing through the famous Derby cabaret) never left the native land and still can find it at Caffé Clerici today to improvise performances with friends of all time. 

According to the three comedians, in fact, Luino is a terrible city."It's the lake's air," Salvi explains. "In a city like this, you can only have three things: a financier, a smuggler or a comedian."Or a writer: because Luino is also the land of pen teachers like the poet Vittorio Sereni and Piero Chiara, among the most important - and restless - Italian tales of the twentieth century. Son - like so many Luinesi - of a customs officer, Chiara was born in 1913 and died in 1986, and in seventy years he wrote famous novels from which more famous films have been taken, often seen as a screenwriter And actor as Venga to take the coffee of Alberto Lattuada with Ugo Tognazzi, Marco Vicario's astrakan coat with Johnny Dorelli, Thursday of Mrs. Giulia and Dino Risi's bishop room with Ornella Muti (who plays almost Prophesying a character called Berlusconi) and Tognazzi himself, but also the most recent The pretore directed in 2014 by Giulio Base and played by Francesco Pannofino and Sarah Maestri, also actress and television conductor of Luino. But among the books of this writer, both indolent and prolific, they must also be mentioned: The Weeping Platter, The Poor Turati, Gabriele D'Annunzio's Life, Pierino's Adventures at Luino's Market, Helvetia Salve, Casalino's Chief of Staff and The Bombard of Mr Camillo, all characterized by a subtle, humorous veil of melancholy, which is the figure of Chiara's stylist but also of Luino himself. On the other hand, humor is a genetic issue in the borough of the village, even Alfredo Salvi, brother of Francesco, who is a psychologist's job, but comedy in the blood, as well as the whole family. Father Trento was a well-known lawyer and friend of Dario Fo, and a humorist in turn: Alfredo has become the protagonist of his first novel - The mystery of his right hand - a yellow set in Luino in the 1950s where Trento ( Whose sister was called Trieste) investigates a series of murders on the lake shore. Trento Salvi was also a cultist of local history and author of books devoted to the dialect of Luino, and Alfredo himself has taken on the task of preserving the memory of the city and of the family through various publications, the last of which came from the sky Not him; All of them, of course, seasoned with the inevitable humor.You find it everywhere, humor, walking around the city: there is a hairdresser - to say - who called his salon "Hundreds of shots" like the novel-scandal by Melissa P., on the other hand if I "Humor, as Pirandello argued, is the feeling of the opposite, not surprising that there is so much on Lake Maggiore, because Luino is a city full of contradictions: tourist and industrial, historical and modern, Swiss and Italian. Among the illustrious names that animated Don Pietro Folli, an anti-fascist priest who ended up on the wall, and Bernardino Luini, pupil of Leonardo da Vinci who has frescoed the Oratory of the Passion of the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio in Milan. For a singular and significant coincidence, at the end of March 2017, the Oratorio della Passione hosted the debut of Francesco Salvi's painting exhibition "The Guardian Demons", which is now preparing for an international tour and which puts together large canvases Pop art style and apocalyptic-postindustrial tones inspired by William Blake, made on the most disparate media: notebook papers, napkins, cutlery, screenplay pages of One Step From Heaven. Works marking a land border, full of history and contrasts like Luino, the theater of Risorgimento struggles and of Savoy repressions. The real people of Italy came to spend the holidays here but did not intend to commit some homicide: a tombstone remembers that on May 10, 1898 the police opened fire on the crowd claiming "a fairer society and a fair price of bread", causing 14 Dead and many wounded. 

But the city also claims the oldest Garibaldi statue: to commemorate the battle of the Beccaccia in 1848 (and named after a tavern in the square), the inhabitants wanted to build in 1878 the only statue of the Generale realized When the subject was still alive.

There is, in Luino, an ancient bakery and the memory of two great industries: one of silk and a steel mill.

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- Luino, Jellen-maggio6045.jpg

Sad and comic, tourist and closed, ancient and modern: the contradictory souls of Luino are well represented by the Buffet of the Station. Born originally as a refreshment point in the railway station to end up attracting people from all over the city, for over forty years this restaurant on the Swiss border is run by a proudly southern family. In fact, the owner comes from Amalfi, and proposes strictly homemade cuisine, flavored with the unmistakable limoncello - the real one, he underlined. The restaurant, thanks to the collections of the owners, has also become a kind of museum, which exhibits memorabilia as well as paintings of the author, such as that of Romano Mussolini.

Among the symbols of the city is the Caffé Clerici, founded in 1875 by an architect who also opened a pharmacy; The latter is still owned by the same family while the historic bar was discovered in 1980 by Luca Alesi. On the other hand, Piero Chiara, many scenes of her books, had set her right at the bar; He talked about Luino in all of his novels, and he loved spending time here: he sat on a table, drank a Punt and Mes, played cards or billiards, and then started writing.

And just the Clerici hosts many cultural initiatives, often animated by Francesco Salvi, such as the "Corto Weekend" festival, a unique event of its kind: "In three days the shorts in the contest are designed, written, shot, mounted and awarded" Explains Giulio Guerrieri, who organizes it. "It begins on Friday with the delivery of the envelope where the theme to be addressed and the objects to be used for the movies, which must be filmed exclusively on site in three days; Then Sunday evening is the award ". Also famous is the love-hate relationship Luino has with the neighboring country, from which he is almost entirely dependent on the economic profile. The more I hate it, the true, and it is no wonder if we think that even 90% of the population consists of "frontiers", or commuters who reside in Luino but work in Switzerland and cross the frontier two times a day. A category recently re-launched after the announcement of new fiscal measures by the Swiss government that would penalize even more frontiers than they already are. On the other hand, the Luinesis for the Swiss are those who do jobs they refuse and take lower wages.

Sunny, windy and rainy, "maybe Luino is wonderful, but never cheerful," wrote a luine in a letter to a newspaper commenting on the recent controversy. "In Luino there is something inexpressible and spiritual that can not go dressed in words - Piero Chiara said instead - is something more than the local tint: it is that mystery of attraction that makes you fall in love with a place without you can Give reason for the reason. "

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