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Art, Culture & Faith

Santa Maria Maggiore - Small town of excellence

Valli dell'Ossola

Italian Touring Club Orange Flag

816 a.s.l.

Patron Saint
15 August, Maria Santissima Assunta

Market Day

Tourist Information

Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the main mountain tourist destinations in Piedmont. The small village, intact in its wonderful mountain architecture, is located in the Vigezzo Valley, also known as the "Painters' Valley" or "Chimney Sweep Valley", on the border of the Val Grande National Park.
It features a rich museum proposal: the School of Fine Arts was founded by one of the many portrait painters who emigrated from the Painters' Valley - Giovanni Maria Rossetti Valentini - who decided to open a free school to teach young people the basics of drawing, painting and ornamentation. Today the School has a large hall used as a picture gallery, housing a real artistic treasure.
The Chimney Sweep Museum is located in the park of Villa Antonia and collects objects, working tools,
clothes and images that tell the story of the Vigezzo people who, after leaving home and family, went abroad to practice the hard profession of chimney sweep.
The "Fragrance House" is a museum project that pays homage to the
two great Vigezzo emigrants and, at the same time, celebrate the birth of Eau de Cologne. The exhibition includes a presentation of the medicinal herbs that make up the Aqua Mirabilis (with particular emphasis on citrus fruits, placed in a small, magnificent winter garden), an excursus from its "medicinal" origin to its transformation into Eau de Cologne and an interactive didactic journey through the fragrant substances that make it up.
From spring to winter there are dozens of events of national importance: from the literary review "Sentieri e Pensieri" (Paths and Thoughts) to the famous International Chimney Sweep Gathering in September and the suggestive Christmas Markets, the largest in Piedmont.
The Vigezzo Valley and its main town, Santa Maria Maggiore, are popular destinations for Italian and foreign tourists due to their wide range of sports and outdoor activities. There are dozens of hiking trails, as well as cycling and downhill routes. The Santa Maria Maggiore pine forest area, an ideal place for regenerating walks, offers tennis courts, miniature golf, archery facilities, an outdoor swimming pool, riding stables, a large golf course and the new adventure park. In the cold season, the Vigezzo Valley is tinged with white and becomes the ideal setting for downhill skiing, or for adventuring along wonderful routes with snowshoes, narrow skis, hang-gliding and paragliding. Cross-country skiing, however, reigns supreme, thanks to the "Centro del Fondo" (cross-country skiing centre) in Santa Maria Maggiore, with beautiful natural trails linking the main towns in the valley.
Visiting this town means savouring genuine mountain hospitality and visiting the dozens of shops linked to Alpine traditions and crafts, set in a green heart between peaks and pastures where you can practice all kinds of sports and outdoor activities.
The ideal mix to spend an unforgettable holiday here - between Italy and Switzerland, between Lake Maggiore and the Alps. Santa Maria Maggiore can also be reached by the charming little train of the Vigezzina-Centovalli Railway, the best way to discover, strictly at low speed, one of the most beautiful panoramic routes in Italy.

Typical food and wine
There are many typical products: Vigezzo mountain ham, Latteria Vigezzina cheeses, typical Vigezzo kid, "pan e lac" and "fiacia" cakes, as well as the "stincheét", thin sheets of pastry made from water and flour, cooked on hot iron plates and seasoned with alpine butter and a pinch of salt.
The gastronomy of the Ossola mountains is dominated by the black bread of Coimo (Vigezzo Valley), gnocchetti all'ossolana and the famous "violini di capra” and flavoured lard. The wines from the Ossola region, Prunent, Tarlap and Cà d'Maté, complete the local offer.


Trekking Routes
Recommended Treks: Valle Vigezzo: Lakes of Muino

Bike Routes
Recommended Bike Routes: Vigezzo by bike: Druogno-Re "Pineta" e Vigezzo by bike: Alpe Blizz

Accessible for people with reduced mobility. For persons using a manual wheelchair, the presence of an accompanying person is recommended.
Recommended "For all" route: Ossola Valleys - VALLE VIGEZZO: SANTA MARIA MAGGIORE 

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

+39 (0)324.94213
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Piazza Risorgimento, 28
28857 - Santa Maria Maggiore (VB)

46.13393213268, 8.4646224975586

46.13393213268, 8.4646224975586