Our valleys are places rich in history, art, nature and curiosities that will amaze you with their simplicity and beauty.
It is easy to get here: just a couple of hours by car from Turin, Milan and from the Canton of Valais through the Simplon pass or even with the railway that connects Milan to Geneva, a few tens of minutes by bus from Lake Maggiore …… in short, we are at the foot of the Alps but close at hand !!!
Domodossola is the beating heart of our valleys, and visitors come to its square since the origins of the market in the distant Middle Ages.
The Ossola Valleys are different from each other and offer multiple possibilities: Bognanco and its three sources of mineral waters for drinking cures, the Anzasca valley that leads up to Macugnaga, the splendid and intact village built by the Walser at the foot of Monte Rosa where you can discover the only gold mine still open to visitors in Europe.
Or, not far from the Simplon Pass, in the splendid Divedro Valley, the natural park of Alpe Veglia and Alpe Devero welcome us in summer and winter with their ski resorts.
I will accompany you to discover the splendid Valle Antigorio, home of the famous Crodo waters from which the legendary Crodino non-alcoholic aperitif was born.
A short distance away a beautiful mountain church: that of the town of Baceno frescoed among others by Giacomo da Cardone.
This excursion will then take you to discover the wild Formazza Valley with the imposing Toce Waterfall which with its 143 meters of jump will leave you breathless.
Before leaving for home, a stop will be appropriate for you to taste the many local cheeses, including the famous Bettelmatt.
And finally the most famous: the Vigezzo Valley which with its bright colors, its Sacred places such as the Basilica of the Madonna of the blood of Re and the historical ones such as the Museum of the chimney sweep will make you go back in time.
The most important historical village in the valley is Domodossola, which has always been the capital and nerve center for trade and communications.
Domodossola welcomes visitors with its suggestive Piazza del Mercato, overlooked by elegant 15th century buildings with their Renaissance architecture. In this square, the weekly market has been held since before the year one thousand, testifying to the centuries-old history of this historic center which today also boasts the presence of a UNESCO site recognized as the Sacro Monte Calvario dedicated to the Passion of Jesus.
I will lead you through the characteristic streets of the village between the palaces of the most important families who made local history, up to the Piazza del Mercato and then to the imposing Collegiate Church of SS: Gervasio and Protasio.
Together you can then climb to the Sacro Monte Calvario, a Unesco heritage site, built on the Colle di Mattarella which was also the first inhabited and fortified nucleus of Domodossola. From here you can have a breathtaking view of the Ossola Valley landscape and take one of the many hiking trails for an unforgettable immersion in nature.
During your visit to Ossola it will be surprising to travel the Val Vigezzo that starts from the small village of Masera, not far from Domodossola, to reach Locarno through suggestive and picturesque views up beyond the Swiss border in Canton Ticino.
Our valley is also known as the Painters’ Valley, since since the seventeenth century many of the inhabitants have distinguished themselves as artists locally, but also in Italy and abroad. In fact, a land of emigrants, in addition to the profession of painter, many people from Vigezzo have carried out the profession of chimney sweep; in Santa Maria Maggiore, the most famous town in the Valley of the Painters, the Chimney Sweep Museum was created in memory of this activity. And here even today the international gathering of the “Ruscàt” (chimney sweep in the local dialect) takes place every year.
You can admire the beauties of the Painters’ Valley and hear the stories of the emigrants, our artists and the smugglers who traveled these mountains.
Not to mention religious tourism, especially at the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sangue di Re; this town on the edge of the Swiss border has been a place of pilgrimage and great popular devotion for centuries, and it amazes us upon our arrival with the imposing neo-Byzantine forms of its Sanctuary, which contains the ancient miraculous fresco of the Virgin.
The Valley of the Painters will delight you also and above all with the possibility of tasting the typical local products during your tour, such as the prized Val Vigezzo raw ham that draws unmistakable flavors from the mountain environment. Or you can discover Coimo’s black bread made with traditional rye flour and still baked as it once was.
Discovering the secrets of the only gold mine that can be visited in Europe and the Walser traditions of this town at the foot of Monte Rosa.
A stroll in the ancient village and a visit to the stonemason’s museum to admire the longest granite chain in the world!
Going up the Formazza Valley on the Walser passes, you arrive at the foot of the second highest waterfall in Europe.
VOGOGNA AND THE CASTLE
The ancient capital of the Lower Ossola, today called “stone flower” with the praetorian palace and its medieval castle
THE PLANTATION OF THE TEA AND THE JAPANESE GARDEN
a real gem from Ossola, a corner of the east still unknown to many: the Premosello tea plantation and an authentic Japanese garden in Anzola
THE MERGOZZO / MONTORFANO BLUE PATH
from the pretty scalpelini town of Mergozzo, go up to its hamlet Montorfano, on the mountain of the same name to admire the splendid panorama from this strategic point. Upon returning we will taste the fugascina and we will see a granite chain from the Guinness Book of Records