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Ghiffa Natural Reserve

Difficulties
Technique
Experience
Landscape
Length (Km): 7,85
Time: 2 hours and 25 min
Starting altitude (m): 189
Arrival altitude (m): 189
Altitude difference (m): 315
Period: Undetermined

Description

Departure point: the bus stop in Ghiffa.

How to get there
Bus: from Intra take the bus for Cannobio and alight at Ghiffa.

Significant aspects of the route
The Sacro Monte of the Holy Trinity at Ghiffa, a Natural Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage site, stands on the slopes of Monte Carciago in a magnificent position overlooking Lake Maggiore. Originally, the climb to the Sacro Monte involved arriving at Ghiffa by boat via the lake and then taking a mule track that passes through Ronco. 

This itinerary evokes that historic route.  

The route
From the bus stop in Ghiffa walk along the lake front as far as the town’s boat station. Cross the road and walk out as far as the Museo del Cappello or Hat Museum.

After visiting the museum, take the flight of steps to a small devotional chapel and a paved path that leads in around 30 minutes to Ronco. Climb the steps leading to the church and follow the paved internal road until you reach the mule track that rises to  the Holy Trinity of Ghiffa.

At the fork, take the right hand of the two mule tracks, reaching the Abraham chapel in around 15 minutes.  Proceeding along the mule track you will reach the Sacro Monte complex where we suggest visiting the St. John the Baptist Chapel, the Sanctuary, the Chapel of the Coronation of the Virgin and the Via Crucis complex. The area is equipped with picnic tables and there are a restaurant, a fitness trail, a path for the handicapped and a visitors’ centre.

You may return via the nature trail through to Caronnio (40 minutes). Passing by way of the Cappella del Porale and the hamlet of Caronnio, leave the path heading to Pollino and descend along a largely restored mule track to Biganzolo (30 minutes), passing through Carciago, Carpiano and Antoliva with their oratories and chapels. 

Reaching Biganzolo, continue towards the Pastura hill and then descend in the direction of Intra. You will pass the Ponte Vecchio before reaching the lake front and Parco Cavallotti (20 minutes) and then the bus stop in front of the Intra boat station (20 minutes).

Useful information
Verbania Intra is easily reached from various directions: from the Verbania Fondotoce railway station by bus (Omegna/Verbania route), via the lake with the Navigazione Lago Maggiore ferryboats and by car from the Verbania-Gravellona Toce motorway exit.

Museo del Cappello: Tel. +39 0323 840890 / +39 348 7340347 – email museocappelloghiffa@libero.it
Natural Reserve Visitors’ Centre: Tel. +39 0323 59870 – email sacromonte_ghiffa@libero.it

Food and drink: Restaurants and bars at Ghiffa and Ronco. Restaurant at the Sacro Monte (Tel. +39 0323 59300)

Notes

Suitable for families with children

Surroundings

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