In 1923 the building was purchased by Cav. Protasio Sassella, who transformed the beautiful church of San Lorenzo into a modern hotel which was opened to the public in 1924.
In the beginning the building only occupied the part which is painted in green today, at a later stage it was enlarged and in the thirties reached the peak of its splendour with the addition of the left wing, the installation of central heating and hot and cold running water in all the bedrooms, comforts which were quite rare at that time, not to mention the telephone line (Telephone No. 4).
The numerous receptions held in the hotel during that period and above all the preparations for the celebrations of the San Lorenzo feast day on the 10th of August which were attended by all the local authorities are remembered. The Philharmonic orchestra accompanied the sumptuous meal and dancing continued until late at night.
Famous personalities from the political, cultural, entertainment and sports worlds have stayed at the Hotel San Lorenzo.
At the end of the sixties the hotel underwent further transformation, part of the property was handed over to the Dei Cas family who since then have run the business.
Nowadays every comfort for an unforgettable holiday in Bormio can be found at the San Lorenzo.
The San Lorenzo church in Bormio.
We can find reference to San Lorenzo as far back as 1100. That the Church of San Lorenzo containing an altar dedicated to Sant Agostino is recorded as that period by Giuseppe de La Stampa from Gravedona and residing in Bormio who bequeathed a silver chalice to the church. There is also a decree by Giuglielmo de Cittadini, the general vicar from the bishopric of Como, in which the Chaplain from San Lorenzo in Bormio in 1509, Franceschino del Quadrio, was nominated perpetual vicar for that church.
It had a single aisle and was the largest church in Bormio after the collegial church. It did not possess a lunette vault but a single level ceiling only, in wood, elaborated in polychrome with sections and friezes. Perhaps that is what the ancient ceiling of the collegiate church was like.
Long, narrow lance pointed windows which were so characteristic and common in medieval buildings. It did not have a tribune above the main entrance.
In the restoration work of 1615 it lost most of the traces of its primitive style. The bell-tower was the relatively recent work of Giacomo Bassi di Valmaggia in the XVIIIth century. It also had an annexed oratory besides the sacristy.
In 1797, following two important meetings held by the local population in the church of San Lorenzo, the people from Bormio declared their independence from the Grisons domination and the Cisalpina Republic tricolour flag was mounted on the Bajona tower. A large part of the population however, although desiring the removal of the Grisons yolk, preferring their own constitution to the Cisalpina freedom, placed their own ancient local Contado flag: “white cross on a red field ” next to the new flag.
The church was demolished in 1923 to make way for a modern hotel.
The outline of the bell-tower was maintained with slight adaptation as if in memory of the primitive structure after this had been used from 1815 onwards as a storage area for wood and other material.
By Tullio Urangia Tazzoli - By Ignazio Bardea