Tour Locations | A Stroll Through Carouge: Geneva's Little Italy
LOCATION 15 | A Stroll Through Carouge: Geneva's Little Italy
Stop here next to the cinema Bio on your right.
The first cinema in Carouge was built as early as 1912. When the sound movie came, it was called “Vox”. And when a new owner bought it in 1972, he called it “Bio” because at that time, the programs were only published in newspapers and “Vox” was at the end of the list. So, he changed it to “Bio” to be on top, also because the name of the first cinema projector was a “biograph”.
In 1996, an architect touted that he was mandated to transform the cinema into a fast-food restaurant. So, some of us stood up and after seven years of fighting and again popular voting, we obtained that the city buys the land and the building. It was then in a very bad state. So, some very generous donators gave enough money to renovate it: some 1.5 million US$. And today, it is a very nice place with an excellent popular program you can see in very comfortable armchairs. It is furnished with the most modern technical equipment and the café with a large terrace is always full as soon as the weather is good enough.
Let's keep moving. With the cinema on your right, start walking along Saint-Joseph street, away from the marketplace.
You'll notice that the whole street is a pedestrian area. This was a long democratic fight too, but the zone is here now and you can walk in the middle of the street.
You'll see many restaurants. And an ice cream shop. In 1790, there were already some 150 pubs, restaurants, and hotels. At that time, 200 years after the protestant Reformator Calvin, Geneva was still very Calvinistic. There, they didn’t have the right to have parties. So, the Genevan came to Carouge. And this tradition lasts until today. You can see that there are still a great number of bars and restaurants for all levels of prices and tastes. Most of them have terraces for drinking and dining outside from spring to autumn.
On the way, to the left, there is a Tea Room belonging to an old bakery. It is run by François Wolfisberg who won the European championship in bakery in 1999. Right across are the two boutiques of the pastry cook and chocolatier Christophe Renou and his wife. He holds the title of “best craftsman of France”.
Keep going up the right-hand side of the street. I'll meet you at the corner.