and its village
The fortress was destroyed in the 19th century but Arona still keeps its old village at the foot of the calcareous buttress with old houses transformed into elegant shops, a fine lake-front promenade with view to Angera and the collegiate church, built by Borromeo Family in the 16th century.
Inside it there is one of the best works of the painter Gaudenzio Ferrari, adherent of Leonardo da Vinci.
Near Arona, on a hill, is situated the unfinished Holy Mountain of Saint Charles Borromeo. You can admire the famous statue of Saint Charles and the church, dedicated to the archbishop of Milan, who was born in the fortress of Arona.
Saints’ wine vault of Romagnano Sesia, the Parish church of Our Lady of
the Assumption and the old Shelter of Ghemme, the wine town.
The “Saints’ wine vault”
is the only evidence of the old Benedictine Abbey of Saint Silano, founded
in 1008. One of the rooms is decorated by an important cycle of frescoes of
the 15th century representing scenes drawn from the Bible, where
king David’s events are narrated.
(Full day excursion)
It is a celebrated summer and winter resort situated at the
foot of the spectacular eastern face of Mount Rosa (4.633 metres) at 1.327 metres above sea level.
Macugnaga keeps the old
village with larch and stone houses and the little
church St. Mary dating to the second half of the 14th century shaded by a secular lime-tree.
It is a chief town of a province situated in the very heart of the fertile Plain of the Po. In the heart of the old town you can find the remnants of its older past (Roman altars, walls, sarcophagi and tombstones), early Christian, medieval and Renaissance jewels (baptistery with Romanesque frescos representing the apocalypse, palatine chapel of St. Siro with Romanesque frescos, mosaics in the Cathedral, cloister of the parsonage, old Town-Hall with profane frescos dating to the end of the 13th century, belfry of the cathedral, terracotta ornaments of the windows, old market-place, polyptych of Gaudenzio Ferrari), Manneristic (basilica of St. Gaudenzio) and neo-classical works (cathedral with the slender dome of Antonelli, symbol of the town, market-hall, House Bossi and Albertina tollgate).
***Abbey of St. Nazzaro Sesia
This is one of the most significant abbeys in northern Italy. It lies in
the middle of rice-fields. It was founded in the 11th century on the place of
an old Benedictine monastery, rebuilt in the 12th century and again in the 15th
century, when it was also fortified. It keeps the two-storey atrium and a Romanesque belfry.
Domodossola and VigezzoValley (Full day excursion) You can reach it either by coach or by mountain train from Domodossola. It is a wide plateau with meadows and pine-forests that is also called "Valley of painters" both for its picturesque landscape and because of the artists who were born here, and who left their works almost everywhere in the valley. Stone houses with several chimney-pots are characteristic.
The most important village is Santa Maria Maggiore, with its old town centre, the parish church with frescoes by the local painters, the chimney-sweeper Museum and the Fine Arts School.
You can continue your journey to Re to visit the sanctuary of Madonna del Sangue, building of the 20th century. Inside it it keeps the miraculous figure of the nursing Our Lady. You can continue your journey to Locarno travelling along Centovalli valley, rich in gorges and ravines.