The Vigezzo Valley​

The Vigezzo Valley

The Vigezzo Valley, one of seven valleys in the Ossola Valley, puts Italy in communication with
Switzerland (the Ticino Canton) and is approximately one hour train, car or bus ride from Milano, and 30 minutes from Lake Maggiore. By car, it is easy to arrive via Autostrada and Super Strada (E62/33) towards Gravellona Toce (and eventually Switzerland) taking the exit for Masera following signs to Valle Vigezzo. Simply stupendous, from a naturalistic point of view, the valleys are home to, amongst other wonders, the National Park of Val Grande, the largest wilderness reserve in Italy. Vigezzo Valley presents itself as a broad, high plain situated at about 800 meters (2600 Feet) above sea level along the Melezzo River that flows into Lake Maggiore.

Our valley is known for excursionism, motorcycle trekking, rock climbing and sky running. Also, winter sports like cross country skiing, alpine skiing and downhill racing, all available on the “Plain of Vigezzo” at Craveggia, or in smaller format at the Baitina of Druogno. The primary peaks are the Pizzo la Scheggia, the Pioda di Crana, Mount Togano, the Pizzo Ragno, the Cima della Laurasca, Mount Limidario and Gridone.
You can also relax at the numerous tennis courts or the Bocciodromo di Malesco, where many Bocce tournaments are held. Additionally, there is a bicycle path that transverses the pine grove near Druogno and continues all the way to the town of Re. The presence in the past of portraitist and landscape artists of great prestige, gave the area the name of “the Valley of the Artists”. It is enough to come view our wondrous landscapes to understand the reasoning behind the title. It was very common for the young Vigezzino artists, after they had learned their craft in the art studios and academies, to follow the more famous masters to foreign countries like
France or Holland. Some of them became very well known through receiving prestigious commissions. Amongst them, in the middle of the 18th century, you can recognize the names of Carlo Mellerio and Giuseppe Mattia Borgnis in Craveggia or Simonis who gave life to his school in Buttogno. Various festivals come one after the other during the year — the Festival of the Chimneysweeps for which gather thousands of Chimneysweeps from throughout the world; the Festival of the Grape in Masera; the Chestnut Festival here in Coimo; the Pumpkin Festival in Santa Maria Maggiore; and the Christmas Markets all through the valley, just to name a few.

Well known and appreciated, we also have the gastronomic products of the Vigezzo Valley, like the valley’s cured prosciutto; the Black Bread of Coimo; the polenta with cheese, sausages or porcini mushrooms; the rustida pasta with potatoes, cheese, onions and bacon; the risotto with porcini mushrooms; the onion and nettle or wild spinach soup; chestnut gnocchi or the typical lamb or goat ribs. Many cakes and special desserts delight or plates, such as bread and milk cake; the torta secca or “dry cake”, wild blueberry tarts. Also there are local variants of a very thin, crepe-like pastry known as Amiasc in Coimo, Runditt in Malesco or Stinchett in Santa Maria Maggiore. Well known also are the
many herbal “digestives” and various grappas. Coimo is the first village in Vigezzo Valley that you encounter coming up from Domodossola: today it is a subcommunity of the town of Druogno, but for centuries it was its own independent township. The small community of Coimo has always enjoyed a mild climate due to its southfacing location on the valley walls and an optimal exposure to the sun’s rays.

The village is surrounded by fields and forests of birch, oaks and chestnuts, which, in the autumn, gift us with a blanket of colorful foliage which takes the breath away.
Isolated from the village’s historic center rises the Church of Saint Ambrogio, one of the first churches erected in the valley. The nucleus of the historical center, passable only on foot thanks to small streets which are adorably clad still in river rock, hosts typical mountain houses and a few much older noble houses.

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