Italian Touring Club Orange Flag
15 August, Santa Maria Assunta
THE VILLAGE: CHEST OF CULTURE, TRADITIONS AND NATURE
An ancient village, founded by the Walser in the 12th century, which has managed to evolve touristically without altering the atmosphere of its ancient origins. From here you can admire the eastern slope of Monte Rosa, the largest and most Himalayan wall in the Alps with its two thousand metres of difference in height: an immense cathedral of rock and ice dominated by the "four sisters": Gnifetti (4,554 m a.s.l.), Zumstein (4,563 m a.s.l.), Dufour (4,634 m a.s.l.) and Nordend (4,609 m a.s.l.), the sight of which thrills and amazes every time. Here there is a well-equipped ski resort that offers enthusiasts perfectly prepared slopes suitable for all levels in the two ski areas of Monte Moro and Belvedere, with approved slopes that are also suitable for competitions. Awaiting you then are wonderful off-piste skiing in a breathtaking setting and for cross-country skiers Macugnaga offers a 5 km ring in the hamlet of Pecetto.
Summer invites to enjoy nature: in addition to its spectacular setting, Macugnaga boasts a unique wildlife oasis, and it is also possible to hike and climb the numerous "routes" of Monte Rosa with experienced local mountain guides. A stage of the "Great Crossing of the Alps" and the "Tour of Monte Rosa", the resort is also part of the "Great Walser Trail", a path linking Zermatt (CH) to Voralberg (AU), over eight hundred kilometres in 34 stages across four countries: Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Liechtenstein.
Macugnaga was founded around 1256 by the Walser, an ancient Alemannic population that started the colonisation of the Walser Alps around Monte Rosa. The ancient culture is still very much present in all the hamlets of the village, in the characteristic stone and wood buildings erected using the "blockbaum" technique, in its language, an archaic German still spoken by the elderly, in the costumes featuring precious embroidery, which the women still wear on festive occasions. The whole village is full of their ancient testimonies: the hamlet ovens in which once a year bread was baked, the granaries built on stone "mushrooms" to protect the harvest, the Old Church and the centuries-old Lime Tree, but also the Museums in the hamlet of Borca "Museo Antica Casa Walser - Museo Alts Walserhüüs Van Zer Burfuggu" and in the hamlet of Staffa "Museo della Montagna e del Contrabbando” (Mountain Life and Smuggling Museum), where it is possible to revisit the Walser and mountaineering history of Macugnaga in all its details. The ancient "Guia" gold mine in Fornarelli, opened in 1710, is still partly accessible. For a few kilometres, it is possible to penetrate the tunnels and galleries dug into the mountain where the gold seams are still visible, a unique natural spectacle. Of the Pestarena Gold Mine, however, only the main entrance is visible after its closing in 1961. The small Miner's Museum can be visited in the square.
Macugnaga awaits you in a perfectly preserved mountain setting, where both alpine fauna and flora find their ideal habitat: it is not unusual to walk or ski among chamois, ibex and roe deer.
Not to be missed are the traditional and sporting events: the "Fiera di San Bernardo" in July, the "Stràgranda Monterosa" trail race and the "Monterosa EST Himalayan Trail" trail running event.
Typical food and wine
The gastronomy of the Ossola mountains is dominated by black bread, gnocchetti all'ossolana, cured meats and cheeses from the ancient cheese-making culture, bread and milk cake and, to enrich everything, the "niche" Ossola wines known as Prunent, Tarlap and Cà d'Maté.
Recommended Treks: Anzasca Valley: Fairy Lake
Recommended Bike Routes: Macugnaga and the Fairy Lake
The village is accessible to people with reduced mobility. For people using a manual wheelchair, the presence of an experienced accompanying person is recommended.
Recommended "For all" route: Valle Anzasca: Macugnaga
For the Ossola and mountain villages, we should mention the importance of the Ossola marble and stone: the Antica Cava (Ancient Quarry) of Ornavasso is a unique example of quarrying in the heart of the mountains, with its marble being used in the construction of Milan Cathedral, the Certosa di Pavia and other prestigious monuments. The natural stone commonly quarried in the Ossola quarries (e.g. serizzo, laugera, etc.) is also used today to obtain materials processed in various ways for a wide variety of uses.
Archivio Fotografico Distretto Turistico dei Laghi
Foto di Marco Benedetto Cerini