Hotel Terrazze Giorgione COMPLEX
The conventual complex of San Francesco, partially destroyed by the earthquake of 1930, was the subject of a number of proposals to redevelop the area. The preparation of the first design by engineers Francesco Guarino and Andrea Cozzo, dates back to 1938. It provided for the creation of a hotel consisting of 40 rooms, cinema hall with 600 seats, gaming rooms, ballroom, music room, bar and restaurant.
In the report accompanying the project, the engineers made reference to the intense “movement of business and trade travellers” visiting the town throughout the year, underlining a lack of adequate structures to accommodate “foreigners and vacationers who prefer enjoying the mountain” during the summer months. Only a few years later a new proposal is submitted for the construction of a modern tourist-accommodation facility that could offer hospitality and comforts, adapting to meet changing demands and times, and giving new impetus to the development of commerce and tourism.
For that purpose, the City Council by means of Resolution No. 2 of 1 February 1947 granted at no charge Mr. Giorgione Michele land of approximately 1,200 square metres for the realization of the aforementioned complex, in order to increase his business activities.
On May 18, 1952, in the presence of numerous authorities, the ‘”Hotel Terrazze Giorgione” complex was inaugurated; Arch. Roberto Pane in presenting the building emphasized the many difficulties that the entrepreneur had been dealing with in accomplishing the work. The excavation works began on October 28, 1949, and from the outset, a number of contingencies were encountered: the presence of “seven tunnels dug into tuff rock in ancient times”, the expenditure of funds for filling the foundations and for erecting retaining walls.
The building housed, on the ground floor, a cinema and theatre hall with bar, game room and billiards room along the porches facing Via D’Afflitto - the main road axis of Ariano Irpino since its foundation, also known as the “Strada Regia”, as well as a garage. The complex also comprised the hotel on four levels with appropriate sanitation facilities; a restaurant, with main entrance from Via Mancini, and with several rooms; panoramic terraces; a pizzeria (extended in the 90s) with entrance facing the little square called Piazzale San Francesco.
The complex, the most famous of the whole Province, significantly contributed to the modernization and the socio-economic development of the city, which from the 50s to the 90s experienced moments of extraordinary splendour. It continued its activities until 1999, when due to economic and financial problems encountered by the owners, ceased its receptive function, announcing closure.
Between February 2002 and May 2015, the former Terrazze Hotel Giorgione, after acquisition by the Municipality - that recognizes the property to “have always been an attraction for tourists and visitors as well as an important incentive in economic and social terms”- has been the subject of numerous attempts of recovery and revival as a tourist complex.
After such attempts, the City Council decides to approve a pre-feasibility study drafted by prof. Cipriano and to use its best endeavours “for mobilizing the necessary financial resources, through the involvement of all Community, national, regional, provincial institutions and / or bodies institutionally responsible for real estate patrimony valorisations […] so to realize the project idea of allocating a Professional School for Hospitality and Catering in the area concerned “, granting for this purpose due surface rights for a period of 99 years, as long as high-quality architectural standards are prosecuted in implementing the school complex, with the aim of creating a centre of excellence”.
The agreement between the Province of Avellino and the Municipality of Ariano Irpino has allowed to obtain twelve million euros (€ 12,000,000.00) for the construction of the educational centre of excellence for hospitality and agri-food, and for the demolition - ended in February 2017 - of the former complex entered into a state of irreparable obsolescence, and to launch the international design competition in question.