Towards the end of the forties, one of the first spa hotels was built in Abano Terme. The surveyor Francesco Maggia from Milan, where he worked as a builder, came to Abano to marry Irma Bison, the daughter of a well-known hotelier who already owned the Venezia and Aurora Hotels.
With a plot of land as their dowry and their joint strength and experience, Mr and Mrs Maggia created a new hotel. The embryo of what was to become this hotel was a small three-storey building with 36 rooms that could sleep a maximum of around fifty guests.
This building marked the debut of the Maggia family in the hotel business. It was 1950 and the hotel still needed an appropriate name. As many will remember, it was in this very period that the Grande Torino Calcio team crashed into the Superga hill on its return from Portugal, ending the magical adventure of one of the greatest football teams at that time. Although not a football fan, Mr Maggia decided to call his new hotel after this team, christening it Hotel Grand Torino.
It was clear right from the start that the building would need to be developed and expanded if it were to meet the growing demand for rooms produced by the tourist boom in the area and a genius of a man like Maggia, with an inherent capacity for risk and interpreting the market, obviously rose to the challenge. Over the next twenty years, the hotel gradually took on its current layout, each year seeing various additions and modifications. Initially two floors were added to the original building, later the two east and west wings were built, which, for the first time in Abano housed a tennis court and a spa pool on their respective roofs, the latter working perfectly for fifty years.
But space was still lacking and so another block was built, which today we call the “middle bit”, including, as well as new rooms, also an extension to the treatment zone and new layout of the internal facilities. In the late sixties, the third and last block was built, completing the whole and housing the new kitchens, larger new rooms and with a second spa pool on the sixth floor, helping to give the terraces their incredible size (5000 m²), still today very popular. That same period also saw the addition of the wonderful dining room, with its single span structure in steel, further proof of the farsightedness of Mr Maggia in creating unique innovative architecture that after all these years, still leaves any visitor open mouthed.
But the entrepreneurial capacity of a great man would have been in vain without the professional hotel skills of a great woman. Still today, our most loyal clients remember the elegance of Mrs Maggia, who could entertain her guests in perfect German, whatever the occasion. It is to these two incredible people and the generations who came after them that we owe the success of a hotel that is still competitive and modern, the perfect example of all the principles of professional hospitality.