Premia, the last town in the Antigorio Valley, near the Formazza Valley, today is famous for its modern and highly-regarded spa, inaugurated in 2008 at Cadarese.
The waters of the PremiaTerme gush out of the spring at 44°C and are classed as calcic sulphate hyperthermal: the spa establishment is an authentic jewel in the crown of the Ossola Valley, for a revitalising and absolutely relaxing holiday. Premia Terme offers a range of facilities from thermal baths to a wellness centre, beauty treatments and specific medical care for particular diseases.
Yet Premia, besides hosting the fascinating Mineralogical Museum, is also linked to highly-prized pottery that still today is made using centuries-old original designs. The first records of this craft tradition date from 1808, when the parish priest of Premia founded the Antica Fabbrica di Ceramica. The material was extracted along the River Alfenza, in the nearby hamlet of Viceno, in the municipality of Crodo. The unmistakable style of this pottery, made in the factory in Premia up to the end of 1862, is now protected and promoted by a small craft production in operation since 1978, which preserves all its beauty and simplicity.
The two highest hamlets of Premia are well worth visiting. These are two jewels of typical Walser architecture, the villages of Salecchio Inferiore (1320 m) and Salecchio Superiore (1509 m): they are ancient colonies founded in the 13th century by German people who arrived from the Canton of Valais in Switzerland. Isolation and territorial marginality led the population to leave the village in 1966: a fact which has allowed the total preservation of the original settlements, so that these two hamlets remain as two of the most delightful architectural pearls in the whole alpine chain.