The history, traditions and folklore

The Ossola Valley is a borderland with a centuries-old history, a land of conquest and passage, of authentic traditions and links to a past… that is still present!

The history of the Ossola valleys, which are wedged in the heart of Europe amidst the Lepontine Alps, is long and complex, just like the morphology of this corner of Piedmont.

A history punctuated with key events such as the opening of the Simplon Tunnel between Italy and Switzerland, which was the longest in the world for 75 years, and the proclamation of the Partisan Republic of Ossola.

There is nothing artificial about the area’s authentic traditions, which also testify to experiences that have been handed down over the years: flavours, architecture, typical costumes, art and popular religion.

Ossola Valley is a crossroads of different cultures, which have left an indelible mark on the pristine pastures and unspoiled Alpine villages.

Fortifications that date back to the 14th-century Visconti dukes alternate with artistic works created by highly-skilled painters from Vigezzo (portraitists renowned throughout the courts of Europe). The unique architectural styles, such as the sloping granite-tiled roofs, typical Walser architecture and wood and stone rural buildings, are flanked by the traditional costumes – from the most elegant to the most modest – of the farming community.

These and many other wonders will make you fall in love with Ossola Valley, a land which, though far-removed from the chaos of modernity, is constantly able to renew itself, always drawing on a past that requires increasing protection and attention.

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Domodossola and environs Anzasca Valley Antrona Valley Bognanco Valley Divedro Valley Formazza Valley Antigorio Valley Vigezzo Valley Lower Ossola