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What to do

The Vigezzo Valley opens up between the Alps in the north of Piedmont, among gentle natural scenery, lush vegetation and a strong cultural tradition. The valley offers enchanting atmospheres in every season, with colors, smells and particular sounds. The morphology of the area is also an access point to the Val Grande National Park, the largest wilderness area in Italy.

Santa Maria Maggiore is the ideal starting point for hikers and sport lovers, who can enjoy here numerous outdoor activities. Valle Vigezzo offers a rich variety of hiking trails for expert hikers as well as beginners.

Besides there are cycle-paths, horse-riding routes, Nordic walking trails and challenging downhill tracks.

The area of Pineta in Santa Maria Maggiore, the real “green heart” of the valley, houses several sports facilities: adventure park, tennis courts, a miniature golf-course, a swimming-pool, archery fields, riding stables and a golf course.

The cycle-pedestrian path stretches for more than 13 km and it goes through the pinewood – from Santa Maria Maggiore – towards Druogno or towards Malesco and Re. This is the ideal place for your walks and your relax surrounded by nature.

Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the most important alpine tourist destinations of Piedmont. This small town is situated in the centre of Valle Vigezzo – also known as Valley of Painters or Valley of Chimney Sweeps – on the border with Parco Nazionale Val Grande.

Alpine culture, excellent wine and food tradition, outdoor activities in every season, a wide choice of shops: this is the ideal resort for an unforgettable holiday, between Italy and Switzerland, between the Alps and Lake Maggiore.

Valle Vigezzo is crossed by a narrow-gauge railway line, called Ferrovia Vigezzina-Centovalli, that connects Domodossola to Locarno. This is really one of the most scenic railway-lines of the Alps.

A winter holiday in Santa Maria Maggiore will give you special emotions thanks to its breathtaking landscapes and its stunning nature.

In wintertime Valle Vigezzo offers numerous and exciting outdoor activities: skating rink, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing and snowshoeing. Everyone will be satisfied. In particular if you love snowshoeing, visit the page dedicated to the snowshoeing excursions pointed out by CAI Valle Vigezzo.

Thanks to its numerous winter sports facilities and some excellent accommodation facilities, Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the heart of Piedmont’s Alps.

Parco Nazionale Val Grande was founded in 1992. It is a territory of about 15,000 hectares surrounded by mountains, between Lake Maggiore, Valle Vigezzo, Val Cannobina and Ossola. It is Italy’s largest wilderness area that has still preserved its environmental integrity.

Valle Vigezzo – through Val Loana– is one of the main access points to Parco Nazionale Val Grande.

Val Grande is surrounded by harsh mountains and it is accessible only on foot: wild nature has been reigning here for more than 40 years. It was once inhabited by people whose main activities were summer alpine grazing and wood cutting, but they abandoned the valley more than 40 years ago. Nowadays this valley is totally uninhabited. The lush vegetation is one of the main attractions of the Park, not to mention its rich fauna: chamois, roe deer, foxes, deer, eagles can be seen there.