Beyond the already well-known excursions we mention you some unusual but very interesting excursions.
Malesco and Santa Maria Maggiore - Capitals of the Vigezzo Valley
Max height 830 mt
Malesco and Santa Maria Maggiore are among the towns in the Vigezzo Valley most frequented by visitors during the summer and offer a rich artistic heritage. Connected to Domodossola by road as well as the narrow guage Vigezzina Railway, Santa Maria Maggiore and Malesco are worth stopping in to visit. Near Malesco, in the hamlet of Zornasco there is a watermill dating from the 17th century which was the last working mill in the valley before being restored. In Zornasco, the Church of San Bernardo da Mentone is a focal point of the Stations of the Cross and the frescoes were, in part, painted by local artist Lorenzo Peretti. In Malesco the frescoes in the Parish Church of Saints Peter and Paul and the San Bernardino Oratory depict the intense activity of the Vigezzo Valley art school. Other examples of this artistic tradition are evident in Santa Maria Maggiore in the Piazza Risorgimento and the Parish Church of the Assumption with frescoes by Giuseppe Mattia Borgnis.
The western shores of Lake Orta
Difference in height 300 m - Max height 627 m
The western shores of Lake Orta offer a unique glimpse of its sparkling blue waters. Near Nonio, in the little hamlet of Oira is a cluster of houses nestling in a small valley which opens towards the lake. Nonio itself is dominated by the Romanesque Parish Church of S. Biagio whilst in nearby Cesara the San Clemente Parish Church is surrounded by an 18th century Stations of the Cross. From the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sasso there is an unrivalled panoramic view across the whole of Lake Orta. The sanctuary was built in the 19th century upon the wishes of Pietro Paolo Minola from Boleto. Arola retains its rural traditions. Returning to the lakeshore, San Maurizio d'Opaglio is home to the unusual Tap Museum where you can learn about the local tradition of iron working. In Omegna the Forum houses a fascinating collection of iconic household objects.
Villages of the Callobina Valley
Difference in height 200 m - Max height 812 m
The Cannobina Valley is a deep gorge which was cut through by the River Cannobino. Along the river are several small towns where time seems to have stood still. From Socraggio, an uninhabited village near Cannobio, a pleasant trail leads to Piazzola. Once used for summer pasture Piazzola has now been transformed into an Environmental Education Centre. Along the trail are numerous examples of “monti”, traditional stone buildings used by farmers and terraces used for allotments and vineyards.The little town of Gurro is known for the legend which says that among its founders were Scottish soldiers in the service of François I of France. The town is home to an interesting Ethnographic Museum of the Cannobina Valley, where a traditional house has been recreated. Nearby, in Falmenta, you can visit an old wine press dating from 1826 and the San Lorenzo Parish Church.
Following in the Footsteps of the Gold Miners and the Walser People in the Anzasca Valley
Difference in height 109 m - Max height 1309 m
The history of the Anzasca Valley population: golf mining and the presence of the Walser people. Gold mining was a major activity in the Anzasca Valley for centuries. The mines in Pestarena, Borca and the Quarazza Valley employed up to a thousand workers. Mining dates back centuries, but real exploitation of the mines took off in the 19th century and went on until 1961 when mining was suspended. The Guia Goldmine offers a glimpse at the Anzasca valley mining tradition. Lago delle Fate (Lake of the Fairies) was created by a hydro-electric dam which completely submerged the village of Quarazza and is surrounded by beautiful Alpine scenery. In Staffa in the old Dorf it is interesting to see the traditionally built Walser houses. Nearby is the old lime (tilia) tree and the old church of Macugnaga which is encircled by a little cemetery.
The Sacred Mount of Domodossola and the Bognanco Valley
Difference in height 130 m - Max Height 380
Mount of Domodossola consists of a series of 14 chapels dedicated to the Stations of the Cross with a 15th chapel dedicated to the Resurrection. The religious scenes in the chapels contain numerous terracotta and plaster statues. At the summit is the Sanctuary Church. Not far from the Calvario Sacred Mount is the Bognanco Valley, known the world over for its mineral water. The discovery of the mineral water in 1863 lead to the creation of Bognanco Fonti, the Spa and the mineral water source and bottling plant. The main town in the Bognanco Valley is San Lorenzo which is situated in a wide lush Alpine hollow and opens out into the upper valley. It is an ideal departure point for walks for all abilities. The San Lorenzo Parish Church houses notable frescoes and woodworks.