A spectacular little town waits to be discovered at the foot of the “Himalayan Face” of Monte Rosa. Wood and stone merge in an environment unlike any other in the world. Welcome to Macugnaga!
Awarded the Touring Club Italiano Orange Flag, Macugnaga, the cradle of the Walser people, provokes amazement and wonder in every season. Located in Anzasca Valley, literally at the foot of the majestic east face of Monte Rosa, in reality the town is made up of numerous picturesque hamlets, each with unique characteristics: Stabioli, Pestarena, Fornarelli, Isella, Motta, Quarazza, Borca, Staffa and Pecetto.
The symbol of Macugnaga is the Old Church, a Romanesque building dating from the 1300s, beside which stands a spectacular centuries-old lime tree with a circumference, at its base, of 7 metres. Interesting examples of Walser dwellings include the Museum of the Mountains, in Staffa, and the Walser House Museum, in Borca, which reproduces a traditional local chalet.
The original name of Macugnaga was Z’Makanà, in Walser titsch dialect. The first permanent settlement of colonists dates from the second half of the 13th century, when the Walsers arrived from the Swiss Saas Valley. After settling in the upper part of the Anzasca Valley, as well as in other Ossolan locations, such as Formazza, Salecchio, Àgaro, Ausone, Ornavasso and Migiandone, having crossed the Monte Moro pass, the Walsers found the wide glacial cirque of Macugnaga to be an ideal place for developing breeding and farming activities.
Like the nearby town of Alagna Valsesia, Macugnaga boasts a very great mountaineering past (many of the greatest exploits – and of the greatest tragedies – took place here) linked above all to the famous eastern rock face of Monte Rosa, the highest in the Alps. At a height of 2,600 metres and with a width of around 3 kilometres, the face is the only one in the alpine range with Himalayan dimensions.