On your Lake Maggiore tours you need to include Domodossola, the city surrounded by historical and wonderful ancient villages. Domodossola is a Piedmontese town in the heart of Ossola valley and it has been since ancient times the hub of a borderland, a crossroads of different cultures and trade.
The location of this town allows you to explore wonderful alpine valleys overlooking Lake Maggiore: Domodossola is located on the plain of the Toce River, between the hamlet of Caddo di Crevoladossola and Sacro Monte Calvario, with a territory that stretches between 238 and 2,635 meters above sea level.
Lake Maggiore tours to get to know Domodossola rich history
Based on artifacts found in the Ossola Valley, it can be said that the Domodossola area has been inhabited since prehistoric times. In the early 20th century, with the opening of the Simplon Tunnel, Domodossola became one of the most important routes for European traffic. During World War II, the city became the capital of a self-proclaimed Partisan Republic independent of the dictatorship. For the sacrifice of its people during the resistance, the town was awarded a Gold Medal.
Lake Maggiore tours – What to see in Domodossola
Today Domodossola is a real cozy and charming tourist resort that attracts Italians and foreigners thanks to the beautiful scenery and historical buildings as a gateway to small neighboring villages of the Ossola Valley.
Domodossola thus offers the perfect mix of culture, shopping and quality food and wine, to be enjoyed in the city many restaurants and craft shops.
Domodossola historical center is a cultural jewel which was restoredin the early 2000s. The project, through the redevelopment of the medieval wall system, created a new image of the entire historic center and at the same time enhancing the main features of the ancient pentagonal walls. The “Village of Culture” was born: still partially surrounded by the walls, this pedestrian area is a treasure for architecture and art.
A must-see is Sacro Monte Calvario, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. In 1656, two Capuchin friars chose the Mattarella hill, which overlooks Domodossola, to make it a place to house the Sacro Monte Calvario. Twelve chapels with a decorative statues were created. At the top of the hill you can reach the octagonal shrine of the Holy Cross.
Another symbol of the city is Piazza Mercato, the heart of Domodossola, and a real picturesque corner for its medieval arcades supporting the 15th- and 16th-century manor houses.
And from here you can reach Ossola valley and start one of the amazing hiking routes in the area to discover hamlets and villages.
Hiking Lake Maggiore: 5 best guided hiking tours suitable for all levels
Lake Maggiore tours to Ossola Valley neighboring hamlets
Moving a few kilometers away from Domodossola it is possible to admire many small villages.
- Canova is worth mentioning. It was brought to its ancient splendor thanks to careful restoration work.
- Crevoladossola, with the Romanesque Church of Saints Peter and Paul.
- Vagna, with its splendid Church dedicated to San Brizio.
- Lusentino, Domodossola highest altitude resort, with ski slopes in winter and hiking trails in summer.
- Anzuno, which can be reached via a path through chestnut forests.
- Vallesone, a village rich in history that will take tourists back in time thanks to witnesses of the rural economy.
- Finally, Trontano offers visitors a food jexperience, thanks to one of the most beloved festivals in the Ossola Valley, dedicated to mushrooms!