Age-old stories echo through the narrow streets and little squares of the main town in the Valle Vigezzo, with chimney sweeps, profumers, painters and… a little blue and white train!
The town of Santa Maria Maggiore, with its marvellous unspoilt mountain architecture, is in the Vigezzo Valley, also known as the Valle dei Pittori (Valley of Painters) or Valle degli Spazzacamini (Valley of Chimney Sweeps), and is the municipality of the Val Grande National Park.
Alpine culture, excellent food and wine, outdoor activities for every season and countless opportunities for shopping: the ideal mix for spending a truly special holiday in the heart of the Val d’Ossola, between Italy and Switzerland.
Not to be missed is a visit to the three museums in Santa Maria Maggiore, some of the most popular in the whole of the Ossola area.
The picture gallery of the “Rossetti Valentini” School of Fine Arts contains an authentic artistic treasure; the Museum of Chimney Sweeps, a unicum at national level, honours the stories of the little chimney sweeps who emigrated from this valley in the past centuries. Lastly, the Feminis-Farina House of Perfume, inaugurated in 2018, celebrates the creation of Eau de Cologne by two emigrants hailing from Santa Maria Maggiore.
From spring to winter, there are many nationally important events: from the literary festival “Sentieri e Pensieri” to the famous International Chimney Sweep Meeting, the delicacies of the Fuori di Zucca festival and the picturesque Christmas Markets, the largest and best-loved in all of Piedmont. Yet there are also dozens of events that, in every season, entertain passing visitors and tourists.