Craveggia (whose name derives from a word meaning “goat pasture”) is one of the most picturesque villages in the Vigezzo Valley, as well as one of the oldest; recent excavations have revealed ancient grave goods suggesting that the village originated in Roman times.
As you walk through the streets you will be struck by the hundreds of distinctive stone houses with their tall chimneys and steep gabled roofs. The windowsills and corbels of these elegant, substantial 17th and 18th century houses are also made of chiselled stone, as are their balconies, which almost always have long wrought iron railings. Some of the buildings stand out due to their frescoed outside walls and window surrounds, such as the Loggia dei Bandi and the quaintly named Casa dell’Orco or Ogre’s House.
The Casa Borromeo also merits special attention: a curious coat of arms dated 1431 on its façade bears the Latin inscription "bene agendo ne timeas": fear not if thou doest good.
The 15th century Oratorio del Poggio contains some particularly fine frescoes and paintings, including a 16th century fresco portraying the Virgin Mary and an oil painting of 1646 depicting the Birth of the Blessed Virgin.
Going along the Via Crucis from the Oratory you come to Piazza dei Miracoli, where there is the parish church with its baptistery. Nowadays a beautiful presepe or nativity scene, composed entirely of wooden figures made by local craftsmen, is on permanent display in the baptistery.
Craveggia makes a good starting point for a variety of excursions in the valley; the nearby village of Re or the Bagni (Hot Springs) of Craveggia near the Swiss border, with their therapeutic water at a temperature of 29°-30°C, are worth a visit.