The shoreline of Lago Maggiore is home to the well-known resort town of Cannobio. With ties to the ancient peasant culture of the Valle Cannobina behind it, Cannobio offers an abundance of testimonies to Roman, medieval and 19th century life. Much of the town’s virtue lies in its managing to keep intact an architectural heritage that was typical of lakeside villages: visitors can explore narrow streets and hidden squares as well as enjoy the natural architecture of the romantic lakefront, the surrounding mountains and the Lago Maggiore itself. In addition to these attractions, Cannobio is a stone’s throw from the Italian-Swiss border.
The loveliness of Cannobio is well experienced by walking its ancient cobbled streets and visiting the beautiful 12th century Palazzo della Ragione and the Torre del Comune, the 15th century Casa dei Pironi, the 16th century Santuario della S.S. Pietà and the 18th century Collegiata di San Vittorio. Cannobio also offers one of Lago Maggiore’s most beautiful beaches. A continual breeze makes the beach an excellent spot for water sports, windsurfing, kitesurfing and sailing. Among Cannobio’s variety of recurring events is the Lumineri festival which takes place on 7th and 8th January to celebrate the “Miracolo della Pietà.”
Areas of interest around Cannobio are:
The Cannobina Valley. A place where ancient traditions and customs are preserved, the valley is an ideal place to visit for those who like to go on trips and excursions. We recommend stopping at the towns of Malesco, S .M. Maggiore and Re, where the famous sanctuary is located, while on your way from Cannobio down to the valley.
Cutting through sharp rocks at Orrido di S.Anna, the Cannobio stream has formed sparkling waterfalls and pools. A Roman bridge crosses the Orrido at its narrowest point. The 1665 medieval Sant’Anna church is close by.
Carmine Superiore is an ancient medieval village perched on a rocky spur with a splendid view of the lake. It can only be reached by a fifteen-minute walk along a mule track from the village of Carmine Inferiore. The inhabited area is a small masterpiece of medieval urban planning and has only one street. Flanked by rustic stone buildings the street ends at a small square in which stands the church of St. Gottardo. Overlooking the lake, the church was built starting in 1332 and expanded in 1431. Outside it there are frescoes representing St. Gottardo and St. Cristoforo. Inside, near the main altar, there is a 15th century triptych depicting the Madonna with Child and St. Gottardo with St. Pietro. The vault displays a depiction of Christ surrounded by the Evangelists, while on the wall behind the altar there is a fresco of the Crucifixion and the Saints Gottardo and Pietro.
The Castelli di Cannero stand on two islets a short distance from the shore of Cannero. Now a ruin, these fortresses once sheltered the infamous Mazzarditi brothers. The brothers were known for kidnapping young girls and terrorizing the population of the Verbano coast at the end of the 14th century.
At a few kilometres from Italy’s border with Switzerland, Cannobio is an excellent point of departure for visiting the Swiss Canton of Ticino:
Ascona, with its medieval historic centre, is a town of artists and painters. Located in a beautiful and sunny bay, it is one of the most popular and exclusive tourist destinations in Switzerland. Here you can enjoy a wonderful 18-hole golf course, elegant boutiques for shopping, a large and inviting lido, gourmet restaurants and magnificent walks in the tranquil countryside. Ascona is also known for its New Orleans Jazz Festival in the summer.
Locarno is renowned for its International Film Festival as well as its sanctuary of the Madonna del Sasso, the Castello Visconteo and Cardada with its splendid view of Lago Maggiore.
The Isole di Brissago are easily reached by ferry boat. Here you can admire the lush vegetation of the Botanical Park. Protected by the Alps and kissed by the sun, these magnificent islands give the visitor the opportunity to see the whole world by taking a few steps.
The stunning Valle Maggia, Valle Verzasca and Centovalli offer spectacular landscapes:
Known in Roman times, Centovalli extends from Locarno to Domodossola. The best way to admire and appreciate the beauty of this valley is by boarding the “Centovallina” train and taking the 90 minute trip to Val Vigezzo. The traveller will see breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls cascading over gigantic precipices.
One has the impression of making a leap back in time upon entering the Valle Verzasca: the valley’s geographic location has indeed encouraged the preservation of its original state. Of special historical and cultural interest are Vogorno, Lavertezzo with its Roman bridge and Sonogno with its ethnographic museum.
The Valle Maggia extends for about 40 kilometers to the charming village of Fusio. The valley is full of rivers, alpine lakes and paths for pleasant walks. Of particular interest is Bosco Gurin, the highest town in Ticino at 1507 meters above sea level. It is inhabited almost exclusively by the descendants of the Walzer colonizers. Also worth visiting is the spectacular Cascata di Foroglio: cascading a depth of more than 80 metres, this waterfall is the highest in the region.
For shopping lovers, we highlight the traditional Sunday market in Cannobio. For quality items and designer labels, we recommend the Shopping Toce Center in Verbania which offers the Sergio Tacchini sportswear brand and Alessi for innovative design household items. We also recommend the Fox Town shopping centre in Mendisio (Ticino). The centre abounds in elegance and luxury with over 130 stores carrying the most prestigious brands.