historical centre of Domodossola

Point of conjunction of the seven Ossola valleys, Domodossola is a frontier village, a point of junction between Italy and Switzerland through the Simplon pass. Precisely because of its nature it boasts an ancient history linked to the transits of markets and pilgrims. Do not miss the medieval and renaissance historical centre and its surroundings rich in history, art and culture. Discover all the beauties that have earned it the title of "Borgo della Cultura".


The origins of Domodossola date back to the second half of the first millennium BC when the Leoponzi, a population of Ligurian origins, settled in these areas. It became a truly important city after the Roman conquest, rising to the rank of municipality. Domodossola owes its name to this period when it was called Domus Oxulae.
The town has always been a place of passage, but this task increased in 1805 with the Napoleonic road of the Simplon. A link between Italy and Switzerland, followed a century later by the construction of the tunnel and the railway line. Anyone wishing to learn more about the construction of this important structure can visit the Museo Civico del Sempione that offers the possibility of retracing it through original relics and photographic evidence.


In Domodossola there is something for everyone. It starts from the heart of the city, the historic centre, of medieval origin with the characteristic Piazza Mercato in the middle. Famous for its arcades and stately homes with beautiful balconies and loggias, all around you can admire the Galletti Theatre, the noble palaces, the typical rooftops and the beautiful Collegiate Church, consecrated to Saints Gervasio and Protasio, patrons of the city. The summer festival of "June Domese" is dedicated to them and takes place on 19 June with performances, cabaret and lots of music.
Just outside Domodossola, on the hill of Mattarella, the Sacro Monte Calvario will amaze you. Proclaimed in 2003 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it stands in a panoramic position over the whole city. Near the sacred complex, which is also a special nature reserve, the "Via dei Torchi e dei Mulini" excursion itinerary will allow you to admire ancient testimonies of the rural economy.


Also the surroundings of Domodossola are rich in historical and natural beauty. The surrounding area boasts numerous villages to explore: Macugnaga, Vogogna, Malesco and Santa Maria Maggiore. Moreover if you want to have a different experience, go through the streets of the centre on Saturday mornings and let yourself be enchanted by the multi-coloured market of a thousand colours.

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