Plunging into the charm ofan utterly beautiful historical town: if you wish to discover the history of the Ossola area, you cannot but begin in its Domus Oxila. Welcome to Domodossola!
Domodossola, at the centre of seven alpine valleys, is the heart of a border country, crossroads for trade and cultural exchanges, the most authentic centre of the Ossola area.
Domodossola is an attractive little town lying on the floor of the Toce valley: from its airy plain, in every direction you can see splendid alpine valleys waiting to be discovered. Not far from the centre of the town, the ideal starting point for discovering all the Ossola Valley, the Sacro Monte Calvario, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is well worth a visit.
Domodossola, a border town, has not always gone under this name, known all over Italy due to TV game shows hosted by Mike Bongiorno, who used it as a symbol of the Italian phonetic alphabet. Indeed, in the past it has been known as Oscela, Oscella and Oxila. But also Domus Oxila and Burgus Domiossulae…
Domodossola, with its centuries old history, is now a recognised and much appreciated open-air shopping centre: from the international railway station up to the old town centre and beyond there are dozens and dozens of shops and retail enterprises that make it a sought-after destination for shopping, especially for foreign tourists. For them (but not only them, because local people are fond of it too), the best day for shopping is Saturday, when thewell-known town market, originating from long ago, is held.
The historical centre of Domodossola, a cultural gem of absolute importance at national level, was subjected to a major architectural refurbishment at the beginning of the 21st century. The project gave the whole town centre a new image, by restoring the medieval walls, some important buildings and inventing the graphical-historical symbol that represents it, the pentagon.
Thus the “Borgo della Cultura” (Culture Town) came into being, as an authentic brand able to heighten all the distinctive elements of the area surrounded by the old pentagonal walls, to highlight the sites of historical and cultural interest and unite them, thanks to refurbishment operations and to gradual exclusion of vehicle traffic.
The invitation is therefore to discover the narrow streets, the arcades of the most symbolic place in the town, Piazza Mercato, the historical buildings now housing museums and cultural facilities: it will be an authentic leap back into the past, enclosed by the walls that have protected and jealously guarded an architectural structure that now appears to visitors in all its extraordinary beauty.