Monte Rosa is not only nature and landscape, but also tourist resorts rich in history, culture and art. The tourist resorts in our territory, both at high altitudes and in the valley, offer multiple opportunities for recreation and relaxation suitable for people from all walks of life. From architecture to food lovers in search of the best gastronomic experiences, Monte Rosa never disappoints, thanks to the many traditions that still survive despite the passing of time. In this article we will highlight some of the main places that we believe deserve to be seen at least once, and not only in summer but also in winter. Let’s start with the two main towns which are the typical bases for an exploration of Monte Rosa and its wonderful tourist locations to discover alone or with friends and family.
1) ALAGNA AND RIVA: THE DOORS TO ENTER MONTE ROSA
The two towns Alagna and Riva are the gateway to the magical world of Monte Rosa. In fact, it is from these two places that one enters from the Italian side, to reach the heart of the massif. In just a few minutes from Alagna and Riva you reach the snow-capped peaks of the Free Ride Paradise, and the Monterosaski ski lifts. In summer, tourists can enjoy dozens of trails and tracks, or tackle one of the many hikes and trails that are waiting for them nearby.
2) CAMPERTOGNO: THE ALPINO VILLAGE ALONG THE RIVER SESIA
The best formula to describe this village is only one: peace of mind. In Campertogno, tranquility reigns supreme throughout the year, even in high season. We are only 12 km from Alagna, along the river Sesia, immersed in a well-preserved alpine village whose origins date back to before the year one thousand. It is worth taking a trip just to visit the beautiful church designed by Filippo Juvarra, with a museum of sacred art, one of the many splendid architectural and artistic works that testify to the creative ferment of past centuries.
3) MOLLIA: MILL AND FORGE ECOMUSEUM SITE
Part of the circuit of the Ecomuseum of Valsesia, is the mill-forge of the small town of Mollia which has become the emblem of a happy era in which man and environment lived together in harmony. The factory is open as a museum and hosts guided tours organized by the Itinerantes association, also responsible for other initiatives in the area. In this corner of the Alps a half day quest for knowledge is a must, naturally, without distracting you from the pleasure of a walk in the sun on the splendid alluvial terraces.
4) PIODE: FROM THE VALSESIAN DAIRY TO ALPE MEGGIANA
Ancient and elegant houses characterized by the typical coverings made with stone slabs. This is how Piode presents itself, and whose name refers precisely to the “piode” obtained from the nearby shale quarries once in activity. In this case it is a tourist resort recommended for trekking as it is surrounded by mountain pastures (of Meggiana, Pizzo alp and Bo Valsesia), from which to admire the view over the valley and the Monte Rosa massif. Another stop worth mentioning is the dairy where you can buy the typical local cheese called toma.
5) SCOPELLO: RENOWNED TOURIST LOCATION OF MONTE ROSA
Since the 1960s the development of Scopello has gone hand in hand with the boom in mass tourism, thanks to its strategic position between the mountains of the Western Alps and the major cities of the plain. Today the town still has important testimonies such as the Parish Church dedicated to the Assumption dated from the sixteenth-century or the ancient Royal Foundries where coins were minted for the House of Savoy and cannon balls for Napoleon’s army. From here you can also access the Alpe di Mera ski lifts, a ski resort much appreciated for the quality and variety of the slopes.
6) RIMELLA: HAPPY ISLAND COMBINED WITH THE MOUNTAIN
The sixth tourist place that we recommend to visit is called Rimella, about an hour and a quarter by road from Alagna Valsesia. The peculiarity of this village can be seen with the naked eye by observing the tangle of narrow streets, stone buildings, steep and orderly paths that connect the thirteen villages. Dominating the small built up urban area is the seventeenth-century church of San Michele, an example of Valsesian baroque, with a fresco by Lorenzo Peracino inside it. The part of the ecomuseum of Valsesia is also interesting, because it has an ethnographic exhibition which focuses on the relationship between the population and the territory in the Walser house, where the study center and library are located.
7) RASSA: THE TOWN, THE TORRENTS, THE SAWMILL, THE EXCURSIONS
Another locality of Monte Rosa to consider for a trip out is Rassa, a town which is located not far from Piode. The town rises at the confluence of the Gronda and Sorba torrents and is distinguished by the intertwining of alleys, bridges and narrow streets overlooked by the ancient houses of wood and stone, the shops, the stables, the church and the chapels. Do not miss stopping for a visit to the Brasei Sawmill, which has been renovated and enhanced as an ecomuseum of wood. For those who love walking we suggest excursions to the valleys of Gronda and the valleys of Sorba, both bathed by the torrents of the same names.
8) RIMASCO AND RIMA SAN GIUSEPPE: YOU CANNOT GO HIGHER THAN THIS
A short distance separates, Rimasco (lower) from Rima (upper), which are two tourist resorts at an altitude of about 1,000 meters This is the prerogative that leads them to rank among the highest of the villages of Monte Rosa. Rimasco and Rima offer valid leisure alternatives especially for fishing trips, the skiing facilities, the “Guido Filisetti” climbing wall and the mountain pastures in the area. The local gipsoteca is particularly important, as this is where some of the plaster statues of one of the most important Italian sculptors of the nineteenth century, Pietro Della Vedova, a native of Rima are located.
9) CARCOFORO: THE “DAUGHTER” OF ALAGNA WALSER COLONY
Awarded the Ideal Village by the magazine Airone in 1991, Carcoforo is a Walser colony born of a nucleus of families that, in past centuries, moved from Alagna to this verdant territory. The perfect fusion between nature and the presence of humans is still preserved and protected thanks to the contribution of numerous family-run farms that take their herds up to the pastures of the Egua valley in the summer.
10) COLMA AND LAKE ORTA: THE CHARM OF WATER
About an hour and a quarter from Alagna Valsesia, the town of Colma, overlooks the western shore of Lake Orta, and guarantees endless possibilities for relaxation in the company of a partner or family. A picnic, a walk, a mountain bike ride, a dip in the lake, a visit to the famous Island of San Giulio with the mystical Basilica of the 4th century … these are just some of the activities to whet your appetite for a day than unlike any other in the vicinity of Monte Rosa.