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Domodossola and the Sacro Monte Calvario. Unesco World Heritage

Domodossola (VB), Italy
Walk & Hike
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Length (Km) 3
Time 1 hour
Average speed (km/h) 3
Starting altitude (m) 270
Arrival altitude (m) 380
Hightest point (m) 380
Lowest point (m) 270
Altitude difference (m) 120 uphill, 0 downhill
Period All year
Waytypes Hiking trail: 782 m
Path: 796 m
Street: 836 m
Road: 759 m
Surfaces Paved: 3,07 km
Asphalt: 108 m


Departure point:   

Domodossola (VB), Italy

How to get there:   

By train: Domodossola Station, Ferrovie dello Stato. Timetables:;
By car: A26 motorway to Gravellona Toce, then SS33 of Sempione, exit for Domodossola.

General Description:   

Domodossola has always been the civil, religious and cultural “capital” of the valleys of Ossola and still shows the characteristics of the ancient medieval village. Crossing the old town, you reach the Strada Regia connecting through the Via Crucis, the town with the pass of Mattarella, in an elevated position, on which was built the  Sacro Monte Calvario, today Special Regional Reserve and Unesco World Heritage. The itinerary develops between Domodossola and the Reserve, at  the gates of a rural and agricultural context made of small stone villages connected by old mule tracks.

The route:   

From the station, corso P. Ferraris and via Fratelli Di Dio allow to reach via Martiri 1798, overlooking palazzo San Francesco, built on the outer walls of a church dedicated to the Saint in the 13th century. Inside, where there is the space for temporary exhibitions, you can see the columns with capitals variously embellished that support the vaults of the aisles. Overlooking the nearby piazza Rovereto, you will find Palazzo Mellerio, that was made built by Count Giacomo Mellerio in 1818 to house a school of higher studies. The meeting between G. Mellerio, Chancellor of the Kingdom Lombardy-Venetia, and Antonio Rosmini, in 1826, led to the start of the restoration project of the Sacro Monte Calvario, born in the seventeenth Century and abandoned at that time. In piazza Repubblica dell’Ossola is the Town Hall, that housed the temporary Government of the Republic of Ossola in 1944 during the Nazi occupation. The council Chamber, known as “Sala della Resistenza” (Hall of resistance), houses a rich collection of testimonies related to the significant experience of democracy and freedom.
In short you will reach piazza Mercato, heart of the historic city center. All year the Saturday market is held, wanted and granted by Berengario Ist in 917 A.D. Entering  via Briona, the most typical road of the old village, and the lane of the bridge Ponte Benedetto, you arrive at the "Collegiata",  Domodossola’s Parish Church, dedicated to the Saints Gervasio and  Protasio. It has been built between  1792 and 1797 on the base of the previous church dated from the fifteenth century. From the nearby piazza Fontana, via delle Difese and via Giacomo Facchinetti, you reach the medieval tower of the old walls. Walking through via Monte Grappa you will go along places where there was once the old pentagonal walls of the medieval village. Vicolo Paolo Della Silva allows you to go back towards the town center, reaching piazza Chiossi and the old Palazzo Silva, built by the noble family "Della Silva"  from Crevoladossola, whose aspect has been changed towards the end of the 18th century. It is an example of late renaissance noble house. Bought in 1881 by the Fondazione Galletti, today it is of the property of the Town of Domodossola, headquarters of the main Town Museum, which has recently been the object of an important renovation.
From  piazza Mercato and via degli Osci you reach via B. Canuto, where is the Sempione Museum, where are preserved pieces and suggestive  settings  about the Pass and the Simplon Tunnel. A room dedicated to Geo Chavez, and to the first crossing by plane of the Alps from Brig to Domodossola (23 septembre 1910). To him is dedicated a contemporary art outdoor itinerary  of 13 works of art spread between Brig and Domodossola “Chavez: di tanti uno solo”, only one among many.
Going down again towards piazza Tibaldi, through via Rosmini, you go along the old Collegio Rosmini, built in 1874 for educative purposes, and the Church of the Madonna della Neve, first built between the end of the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth century and rebuilt in 1622 after the destructive floods of the torrent Bogna. From here once started with a stone arch destructed in 1875, the via Regia that led to the Sacro Monte Calvario. The first chapel of the Via Crucis is situated at the end of via Mattarella.
Go on along a picturesque stone paved road up to the sanctuary of the  Sacro Monte Calvario that from 1991, together with the natural surroundings, is part of the Natural Special Reserve of the Sacro Monte Calvario of Domodossola, Unesco World Heritage.

Useful information:   

•    On the website of Ente Aree Protette dell’Ossola:  educational materials are avalaible about the area of  Domodossola.
•    Touristic information: Associazione Turistica Pro Loco Domodossola, Ufficio di Informazione e Accoglienza Turistica,  Movicentro Bus Piazza Stazione, - - +39 0324 248265 - +39 0324 247043 -  (Timetables: from Monday to friday: 8.30 - 12.30/: 14.00 - 18.00 - saturday 8.30 - 12.30)
•    Sacred Mountains of Piedmont and Lombardy, Unesco World Heritage:;
•    Information on museums andon the itineray about Geo Chavez: Associazione Musei d’Ossola,
Riserva del Sacro Monte Calvario di Domodossola,

Where to eat:  

Circolo Acli Santa Croce, Borgata Sacro MonteCalvario, 28845 Domodossola, VB, (IT) Tel. +39 0324 47049

Where to stay


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