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