The city of Domodossola has always been the civil, religious and cultural "capital" of Ossola valleys and still has the characteristics of the ancient medieval village. Crossing the historic center, reach the Strada Regia which connects, through the historic Via Crucis, the city with the Mattarella hill, in an elevated position, on which the Sacred Mount Calvario was built; today it is a Regional Special Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The itinerary winds between Domodossola and the Reserve, at the gates of a rural and agricultural context of small stone villages connected by ancient mule tracks.
From the station, Corso P. Ferraris and Via Fratelli Di Dio allow you to reach Via Martiri 1798, which overlooks Palazzo San Francesco, built on the perimeter walls of a church of 1200 dedicated to the Saint. Inside, in the spaces intended for temporary exhibitions, it is possible to admire the columns with variously decorated capitals that support the rib vaults of the side-naves. Overlooking the nearby Piazza Rovereto, you will find Palazzo Mellerio, which was built by Count Giacomo Mellerio in 1818 to house a school of higher studies. The meeting between G. Mellerio, Chancellor of the Lombard-Veneto Kingdom, and Antonio Rosmini, in 1826, led to the start of the restoration project of the Sacred Mount Calvario, born in the seventeenth century and then abandoned. The Town Hall is located in Piazza Repubblica dell'Ossola; the building hosted the Provisional Government of the Ossola Republic in 1944 during the Nazi occupation. The council room, known as the "Hall of Resistance", houses a rich collection of testimonies related to that significant experience of democracy and freedom. With a short journey, you reach Piazza Mercato, the heart of the historic city center. It hosts the large Saturday market all year round, wanted and granted by Berengario I in 917 AD. Taking via Briona, the most typical street of the ancient village, and Vicolo del Ponte Benedetto, you arrive at the "Collegiata", the Parish Church of Domodossola, dedicated to Saints Gervasio and Protasio. The building was erected between 1792 and 1797 on the basis of the previous fifteenth-century church. From the nearby Piazza Fontana, Via delle Difese and Via Giacomo Facchinetti, you reach the Medieval Tower of the ancient walls. Going along via Monte Grappa you skirt the places where the ancient pentagonal walls of the medieval village once stood. Vicolo Paolo Della Silva allows you to return towards the city center, reaching Piazza Chiossi and the ancient Palazzo Silva, built by the noble family "Della Silva" of Crevoladossola, whose appearance was modified until the end of 1700. It is an example of a late-Renaissance noble house. Purchased in 1881 by the Galletti Foundation, today it is owned by the Municipality of Domodossola, home to the main city museum, recently undergoing an important renovation.
From Piazza Mercato and Via degli Osci reach Via B. Canuto, where the Simplon Museum is located, which preserves finds and suggestive settings linked to the Pass and the Simplon Tunnel. A room is dedicated to Geo Chavez and to the first flight across the Alps from Brig to Domodossola (23 September 1910). An outdoor cross-border contemporary art itinerary of 13 works of art spread between Brig in Domodossola, called "Chavez: only one of many" is dedicated to the aviator. Going down again towards Piazza Tibaldi, along via Rosmini, flank the ancient Collegio Rosmini, built in 1874 for educational purposes, and the Church of Madonna della Neve, built between the end of the XIV and the beginning of the XV century and rebuilt in 1622 after the destructive floods of the Stream Bogna. Once the Via Regia started from here, with a stone arch demolished in 1875, leading to Sacro Monte Calvario. The first chapel of the Via Crucis is located at the end of Via Mattarella.
Then proceed along a suggestive stone-paved road to the Sanctuary of the Sacro Monte Calvario which, together with the surrounding natural environments, has been part of the Sacred Mount Calvario of Domodossola Special Natural Reserve since 1991, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Area: Plain of Ossola Valley
Itinerary particularly suitable for educational visits - www.sacri-monti.com
Associazione Turistica Pro Loco Domodossola, Information and Tourist Reception Office, at Movicentro Bus Piazza Stazione
(Timetable: from Monday to Friday morning: 8.30 - 12.30/afternoon: 14.00 - 18.00 - Saturday 8.30 - 12.30)
Information on city museums and on the route “Geo Chavez: di tanti uno solo”:
Associazione Musei d’Ossola
Riserva del Sacro Monte Calvario di Domodossola
Sacri Monti del Piemonte e della Lombardia, Patrimonio Mondiale UNESCO
Notable Items along the Track
Sacro Monte Calvario di Domodossola, Borgo di Domodossola, Parish Church of Domodossola, Civic Museums Galletti, Medieval Tower, ancient Palazzo Silva, Museo del Sempione
By train: Domodossola station, Ferrovie dello Stato. Timetable: http://www.trenitalia.com/; www.ffs.ch By car: A26 highway towards Gravellona Toce; from here SS 33 del Sempione, exit Domodossola.
Accesso con mezzi pubblici
By train: Domodossola station, Ferrovie dello Stato. Timetable: http://www.trenitalia.com/; www.ffs.ch By car: A26 motorway towards Gravellona Toce; from here SS 33 del Sempione, exit Domodossola.