Grand Hotel Fasano, located on the western shores of Lake Garda, was built in 1888 in a Neo-classical style, and was declared a National Heritage in 1989 by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage.
The history of the Grand Hotel Fasano stretches back to the 19th century. At that time the splendid residence was a hunting lodge of the Austrian royal family, the pleasantry giving the estate its name.
The first drawings of the Grand Hotel Fasano are evident on the 1852 Austrian map, that can be found at the Historical Land Registry of Brescia. On this map it is possible to admire a sketch of 1888 that traces the outline of the hotel, and this marked the beginning of the long history, a Grad Hotel for an elite clientele, who were able to enjoy the great innovations of that period – heating and hot water in nearly all of the bedrooms, two bathrooms, á la carte restaurant, an elegant coffee lounge, billiard room, tennis courts, terraces with wonderful and incredible views situated in a park directly on the lake.
In 1903, following the ever growing number of guests, the Grand Hotel Fasano was expanded. German aristocrats would race to be seen on the Riviera. The hotel was easy to reach by train from the main European cities arriving at the stations of Desenzano or Riva, then directly to the hotel by ‘vaporetto’ (steam boat).
The wars did not leave the Grand Hotel Fasano unharmed and caused serious damage to the hotel. The border where the First World War was fought was only a few kilometres away.
The Grand Hotel Fasano, then owned by the Boem family, was seized as war ‘booty’ and subsequently managed by the National Combatants Foundation.
During the Second World War the Grand Hotel Fasano was requisitioned by the Italian Military Hospital, but then later seized by the German High Command who transformed it into a “War hospital”.
Before the end of the conflict the hotel was requisitioned a further two times, by the American fifth army and then by the English.
In a letter for the request of compensation for damages, the director Giuseppe Mayr describes the poor and pitiful state the hotel is in after the war: ” Pillaged several times, with just some rather battered pieces of furniture left, the wooden floors torn up and used as firewood for the wood stoves”.
Despite everything, after eight years, the hotel re-opened for the summer season in 1948.
The following years brought new challenges. The always more wealthy middle class was the new clientele of the ‘Fasano’. In 1962 the hotel was expanded for the third time and continuous restructuring and renovation made it possible for the Grand Hotel Fasano to become once again a top class hotel.