Our mountains’ natural beauty is an attraction per se and, depending on your interests and physical condition it will be up to you to decide how to enjoy them. For this reason we are keen on recommending our Mountain and Excursion Guides: they know our territory better than any other and can enrich your experience with precious details, besides taking care of your safety.
Nevertheless, a quick online search will show you how our Valleys offer much more than hiking.
The following is a list of suggested activities:
The crag of Balmafregia is located less than 1km away from the Rifugio. It si possible to climb year round here as well as in many other crags in our valley. Some of the most famous spots are Cadarese and Yosesigo for trad climbing; Croveo, Esigo and Simplon for sport climbing. Our Mountain Guide Marco Tosi will be glad to organize climbing courses.
Fishermen/women can enjoy the Toce river, also at walking distance from the Rifugio. Those who do not fish can enjoy the river’s beautiful granite pools, and a fresh snack from Agrichiosco L’Orrido. Sezione Provinciale pescatori del VCO
Don’t forget your walking sticks if you love this sport. You’ll find hundreds of km of amazing tracks!
History, culture, tradition and shopping: these are al possible in Domodossola’s city center where you’ll find many boutiques, artisan shops and the mercato.
A 50min drive from the Rifugio, with its unique villages and islands. Lago Maggiore website
La Fabbrica Theatre
Situated in Villadossola, 30min drive from the Rifugio. Check out their calendar!
An incredible journey between Switzerland and Italy. It is a “slow” train, allowing you to appreciate the beauty of the surrounding territory: in 52km you will encounter mountains, canyons, rivers waterfalls passing over 83 bridges and under 31 tunnels.
Premia’s thermal baths
Only 5km separate the Rifugio from the thermal baths of Cadarese
Erba Böna Collective
This collective is dedicated to the cultivation of medicinal herbs, and groups together various producers from our valleys. Not too long ago our ancestors lived in close contact with nature and our territory, through agriculture and farming. Our culture and values derive from this lifestyle, and Consorzio Erba Böna was founded to safeguard this tradition.
The collective is located in Crodo, a 45min walk from the Rifugio. You will have the chance to meet the founder Vittorina Prina, taste one of her infusions, and take home some delicious bombon (bumbögn) or the Lepontinum spirit (with genepì, gentian and other natural mountain herbs).
Croveo and its witches
There is always something true about village legends, and the witches of the Antigorio valley are no exception. They are not just fairy tales handed down from generation to generation, but historical truths rooted in the period between the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century when, in the midst of the Counter-Reformation, the persecutions perpetrated by the Inquisition left a deep mark on the memory.
The legends tell of the Cervandone Sabbath, of the witchcraft rites on Mount Cistella and of the witches who lived in Croveo, a hamlet of Baceno, whose inhabitants are still nicknamed with the dialect term “striögn”, that is witchdoctors, and we know something about them since our Piergiorgio is a striogn of Croveo!
Towards the middle of July there is an event that deals with this dark page of anti-Gorian history with cultural nuances, but also folklore and entertainment.
You can find the “Borgo Antico” with 11 multimedia totems on witches, trials, inquisition, plus a part dedicated to Don Amedeo Ruscetta, the viper priest to whom a museum has been dedicated. The totems are located along a path through the old village of Croveo, ending at the “Devil’s potholes”, formed by the erosion of water and glaciers but which legend attributes to the devil throwing stones. The Streghe di Croveo group today includes around 30 women and children dressed in typical fairy-tale costumes, pointed hats and black fedoras. During the July event, they are the soul of the event with theatre and music performances, dances, markets, ancient works and conferences, with the aim of revaluing and enhancing the memory of these “witches”, who were actually simply women with an extra talent or a greater knowledge of nature and herbs.
Nativity Scenes on Water
In Crodo and its hamlets, during the Christmas festivities. The Nativity interpreted by the citizens of Crodo and its mountain hamlets, in a route that can be visited free of charge 24 hours a day.
Among the ancient villages, fountains and wash-houses of the Antigorio Valley, dozens of cribs, handicraft installations, between tradition and experimentation, with a common denominator: water. A simple, winning recipe, which attracts a large public to discover the area that hosts these precious installations dedicated to the Nativity.
The water flowing beneath the cribs is that of 17th century stone fountains, the water of ancient wash-houses, meeting places for the women of the past, or the water of streams that become natural frames for the Crodo Water Cribs. It is possible to organise with us guided tours to discover all the cribs so as not to miss a single glimpse of this beautiful landscape.
More information on tourism opportunities on the site of Agrap Associazione Gestori Rifugi Alpini e Posti Tappa del Piemonte and on the site of the Distretto Turistico dei Laghi.
Top photo: View of the Antigorio Valley – ph. Marco Benedetto Cerini