The Castle houses an archaeological exhibition that traces the events of Locarno from the Bronze Age to the Roman Age, presenting archaeological evidence dating back to the period from the 13th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. During the Roman period, Locarno was an important trading platform between the Alpine valleys and the Po Valley, the traces of which can be found in the necropolis and its exceptional glass products. The collection of Roman glass presented in the Museum is among the most important in Europe. The exhibition is also enriched by a variety of ceramics and tools, weapons, and jewellery of different metals.


Around 1540 an important Protestant community was formed in Locarno. The Locarnese area was at the time a bailiwick governed by the 12 Confederate cantons. After the Reformation, which had prevailed in Zwingli’s Zurich, the cantons were torn apart by religious conflicts. Zurich was defeated in the Second Kappel War (1531) and, in the peace treaty with the Catholic cantons, it was decided that the common bailiwicks should have practiced their old faith. Therefore, in 1555, the reformed community of Locarno was forced into exile to Zurich. New Evangelical Reformed churches were established in the Locarnese area in the second half of the 19th century.


At the end of the First World War, severe conditions were imposed on the defeated countries. Subsequent diplomatic negotiations favoured reconciliation between the nations and led to an international conference in Locarno and the signing of the Rhine Pact in 1925. Germany accepted the western border, guaranteed by England and Italy, and signed arbitration treaties with Belgium, France, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. The “spirit of Locarno” gave rise to a short period of collaboration in Europe, within the framework of the League of Nations. The Locarno agreements were denounced by Germany in 1936. The exhibition is accompanied by a journey through the significant places related to the event that took place in the city