Santa Maria Magggiore (VB), Italy
How to get there:
By train: Domodossola Station, Ferrovie dello Stato. Timetables: http://www.trenitalia.com/; www.ffs.ch Santa Maria Maggiore station, Vigezzina Railway. Timetables: www.vigezzina.com
By car: A26 motorway to Gravellona Toce, then SS33 Sempione, exit for Masera – Valle Vigezzo, then along the road 337 in direction of Locarno you reach Santa Maria Maggiore.
Touristic itinerary that includes short journeys on foot to visit the Chimney sweep Museum in Santa Maria Maggiore, Museo dello Spazzacamino and the regional Centovalli and Pedemonte Museum, the Museo regionale delle Centovalli e del Pedemonte in Intragna (CH). Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the 200 villagess in Italy that received the Bandiera Arancione, the quality recognition for environmental eco-tourism from the Touring Club Italiano.
From Santa Maria Maggiore station you take for via Cadorna until you reach the central street via Rossetti Valentini where is the School of Fine Arts Rossetti Valentini (permanent exhibition of the painting of Vigezzo valley from mid-eighteenth century to late twentieth century). Continuing along the pedestian zone for Via Cavalli you will reach the central square with the parish church of Santa Maria Assunta, the oldest church in Vigezzo, presenting frescoes from Giuseppe Maria Borgnis and Lorenzo Peretti.
In the nearby park of Villa Antonia is the Chimney sweep Museum, unique in Italy, it tells the story of this tough work, the years of emigration towards the North European countries and the social evil of child exploitation, with hundreds of children called “rüsca” forced to work on this exhausting labour. Back to the station, continue up to Intragna, in the Centovalli, to visit the regional museum the Museo regionale delle Centovalli e del Pedemonte, located in a pretty 17th century dwelling, Casa Maggetti, just behind the parish church. In the rooms on the third floor is proposed the story of the emigration of the chimney sweeps, a widespread work as well in the Centovalli, so that the inhabitants of Intragna were called with the nickname "Spazzacamitt".
Where to eat:
• Osteria Al Cortiletto, Via Cavalli 20, 28857 Santa Maria Maggiore VB, (IT) Tel: +39 0324 905678
• Pizzeria e ristorante Da Franco, Via Rosmini 1, 28857 Santa Maria Maggiore VB, (IT) Tel: +39 0324 95061
• Ristorante e pizzeria Locarno, Piazza Risorgimento 9, 28857 Santa Maria Maggiore, VB, (IT) Tel: +39 0324 95088
• Ristorante Miramonti , Piazzale Diaz 3, 28857 Santa Maria Maggiore VB, (IT) Tel:+39 0324 95013
• Ristorante Le Colonne, Via Benefattori 7, 28857 Santa Maria Maggiore VB, (IT) TEL. 0324/94893
• Ristorante Alpi, Via Cadorna 1, 28857 Santa Maria Maggiore VB, (IT) Tel: +39 0324 94290