These were years of innovation, marked by technological development and the euphoria that progress inspires. The completion of the Simplon Tunnel had a huge impact on a cultural, social and commercial level. In 1906, this railway tunnel over 20 kilometres long between Val d’Ossola in Italy and the Switzerland’s Rhone Valley region, had multiple implications in terms of trade, development and opening up to other countries.

To mark this extraordinary inauguration, a sumptuous and rich gala lunch was laid on in Sion, capital of the Canton of Valais, showcasing local products on an occasion that celebrated the region: Rhone Trout with Valais asparagus; Consommé Royal, a reduced, clarified broth enriched with small pieces of a mixture based on eggs cooked in bain-marie moulds; Remaulade Sauce based on mayonnaise, mustard, cucumbers, chopped and crushed capers, parsley, chervil, tarragon and an anchovy reduction sauce.

In this age of hope, of an enlightened vision in which progress would win out over obscurantism, the opening of the Simplon Tunnel was also marked by the Milan International world’s fair.