Discover Domodossola: the city that perfectly combines history, culture, and shopping


Domodossola, A City Surrounded By Breathtaking Villages And Landscapes

Seven Alpine Valleys Surrounds Domodossola, A City In Piedmont That Has Been A Borderland And Intersection Among Different Cultures And Trades Since Ancient Times.

Seven alpine valleys surround Domodossola, a city in Piedmont that has been a borderland among different cultures and trades since ancient times. 


Domodossola is a city in Piedmont which is part of the district of Verbano- Cusio-Ossola. The city counts more than 18,000 inhabitants and represents the authentic heart of Ossola Valley.


Its prime location allows visitors to admire breathtaking alpine landscapes and valleys. Domodossola sits on the plain of River Toce, in-between the neighborhood of Caddo di Crevoladossola and the Sacred Mount Calvary. Its altitude ranges from 238 m to 2,635 meters above sea level. 


The History of Domodossola


In light of the findings in Val d’Ossola, we can claim that prehistoric men inhabited the area of Domodossola. Throughout its history, the city had different names like Oscella, Domus Oxela, Oscela, Oxila, and Burgus Domiossula. 


During the first half of the 19th century, with the opening of Traforo Del Sempione, Domodossola became one of the most important European traffic hubs. 


During World War II, the city became the capital of a Partisan Republic, which proclaimed itself independent from the dictatorship. The population sacrificed itself while resisting the Nazi-German and Fascist troops. For this reason, Domodossola received a Golden Medal for Distinguished Military Conduct. 


What to see in Domodossola 


Domodossola is a famous destination, attracting Italian and foreigners. Tourists love its beautiful landscapes and wonderful historic buildings, which you find both in Domodossola and in Val d’Ossola, also part of the district. 


The famous Saturday city market has ancient roots. Still, the whole city is rich in big and small shops.


Domodossola offers the perfect mix of history, shopping, and high-quality restaurants. 


The municipality importantly restored the City Center during the first half of the 2000s. These works gave birth to the “Village of Culture”, which the ancient city walls surround. The restored medieval city renewed the appearance of the city center completely and highlighted the distinctive features of its architecture.


A must-see is the Sacred Mount Calvary, which stands very close to the city center. In 2003, UNESCO nominated Sacred Mount Calvary a World Heritage Site. In 1656, two Capuchin friars chose the Colle Mattarella, which rises above Domodossola, and decided to host the Sacred Mount Calvary there. As a result, they built 12 chapels that guested wonderful statues and frescos. At the peak of the hill, we find the Santuario Della Santa Croce, which presents an octagonal shape. 


The market square is another city icon, the real heart of Domodossola, which showcase the characteristic medieval arcades, dating back to the fifteenth and sixteenth century. 


From here, you will embark on a trip around Domodossola’s surroundings, starting right in the districts of Domodossola. 


Domodossola and the beautiful villages around it


Just a few kilometers away from Domodossola, one can admire several villages that history and beauty have permeated. Among these, we cannot but cite the Borgo di Canova, which an accurate work of restoration got back to its former glory. Besides, we find Crevoladossola, with the Romanic Church of Saint Peter and Paul; Vagna, with the beautiful Church dedicated to Saint Brizio and the “Festa du bambin”, a special Summer Christmas. We also find Lusentino, one of Domodossola’s hamlets that sits at the highest altitude. There, you find Winter ski runs and hiking tracks for the good season. Anzuno is also a must-see, which can be reached through a trail in chestnut woods. Vallesone, a historic village, testifies the presence of a rural economy, bringing tourists back in time. Last but not least, Trontano offers to visitors a trip in the right place, thanks to one of the most beloved festivals in the whole Val d’Ossola area: the Mushroom Festival.

Photo by tommychheng on Flickr

Verbania - lago Maggiore

Verbania: Piedmont’s pearl that is rich in gardens and mansions

Verbania - lago Maggiore

Verbania, the city called “garden by the Lake.”

Discover Verbania and its surrounding areas. Lake Orta and Lake Major’s proximity and its mild Climate make of Verbania one of the most beautiful places in Piedmont.

In 1939, when Intra and Pallanza merged, Verbania was born. Is the biggest city center on Lake Major and the administrative center of the district of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola. 

Thanks to the spectacular gardens and mansions, is also known as “the Garden on the Lake.” 

Different villages compose Verbania. These villages are present both lakeside and hillside and offer hiking opportunities for all tastes. Verbania spreads from the lake to the hinterland, from Parco Nazionale Val Grande to Mount Rosa and the Ossola Valley. 

Thanks to its privileged geographic position and its climate, Verbania is a famous and beloved destination for tourists coming from all over the world. 

The History and Geography of a “Young City”

Benito Mussolini decided on the foundation of the city of Verbania, that was born on April 4th, 1939. 

The name Verbania is a calque of the Latin Lago Verbanus, namely the ancient name of Lake Major.

Today, with more than 30,500 inhabitants, is the most populous center of the whole Lake Major area. 

Is a triangle-shaped territory that stretches up to the middle of the Lake. The high end of the city reaches 693 meters with the peak of Mount Rosso. 

Indeed, Verbania extends on a large surface, which translates into the city occupying a long stretch of the Piedmont shore of Lake Major. 

What to see

Noble and historical families built several mansions over the years, which still attract the attention of Italian and foreign tourists. 

Among these, the eighteen-hundred Villa Taranto is a must-see. Scottish Mr. McEacharn was the last owner of the villa, which he decided to donate, together with its beautiful gardens, to the municipality. Villa Taranto hosts several different species of European and exotic plants, which makes this Villa one of the favorite attractions of Verbania.  

Another mansion to check is certainly Villa San Remigio, which you can find next to the anonymous Parish, built during the twelfth century. Spectacular and invaluable frescos decorate the Villa. 

The historical center hosts Palazzo Dugnani, an amazing example of baroque architecture, which guests the Museum of Verbania and Landscape. Besides, another venue to check is the San Vittore Basilica, which sits in the same area where a fourteen-hundred Christian church was present. After the proclamation of San Vittore as the patron of Verbania in 1992, the church became the main church of the city. 

The Wonderful Surrounding Landscapes

On the outskirts of Verbania, several venues and buildings are present and worth visiting. We cannot but cite the Borromean Islands and all the tiny towns around Lake Major, just like Stresa, where the ferries directed to the Island leave. 

If you look at the Borromean Gulf, you can spot the Isola Madre, which, even though it is part of Stresa is closer to Verbania, the Isola Bella, and the Isola Dei Pescatori. Right ahead of the promontory of Castagnola you can find the little island of San Giovanni, which is just a few kilometers away from the coast and another property of Borromeo. 


Verbania hosts several recurring events, which nature lovers particularly like. The city dedicates some weeks to tulips, orchids, azalea, and camellia. These events are possible thanks to the mild climate of the area and usually end with the Corso Fiorito, a parade float that takes place during the first Sunday of September. 

In the summer, tourists can enjoy concerts, races, outdoor film festivals, and sports competitions. These events meet the expectations of children and adults and make of Verbania one of the favorite destinations in Piedmont and beyond.

Photo by Oissaly on Flickr