Domodossola, now as in the past, is the heart of a border country, a crossroads for trade and cultural exchanges, the most authentic centre of the Ossola area, a place full of interesting attractions, at the centre of the seven Ossola valleys.
Not to be missed is a visit to its splendid old Medieval-style town centre, to be enjoyed at a slow pace focussing on the historical buildings and on the cosy little porticoed squares. Visitors will be fascinated by the Borgo della Cultura, the result of invaluable restoration work: still partially surrounded by a town wall, this part of the town is a veritable architectural and artistic gem. Also not to be missed is the historical, centuries-old Saturday market even though, in reality, the whole town is an authentic open-air shopping centre.
Domodossola thus offers the perfect blend of culture, shopping and quality food and wine, to be tasted in the many restaurants in the town. Yet Domodossola is also the ideal starting point for discovering its picturesque hamlets and the small towns overlooking the Ossola Valley plain.
The first stop when exploring the area surrounding Domodossola cannot but be the Sacro Monte Calvario, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And from there onwards it will be a constant journey of discovery, starting precisely from Domodossola’s hamlets and towns.
Vagna, with the splendid Church dedicated to San Brizio (St. Brice) and its Festa dul bambin (Children’s Day), a special “Summer Christmas” full of atmosphere; Lusentino, Domodossola’s highest altitude resort, with ski slopes during the winter and hiking trails in the summer; the little hamlets of Mocogna and Cisore (with its church perched on the mountainside), on the boundary with Crevoladossola; then Monteossolano, with its perfectly preserved ancient wine press; Calice (not to be missed are the Church of San Quirico and, just a little higher up, the Torre di Mattarella); Quartero and Crosiggia, both towns that evoke the past with their wash-houses, little churches, mule tracks still excellently preserved and their stone houses, steadfast survivors of a highly-prized traditional architecture.
Lastly, Anzuno, reachable along a pleasant path through chestnut woods, part of the enchanting “Via dei torchi e dei mulini” (Road of presses and mills), and Vallesone, a town full of history and traces of a rural economy that will take you back in time.