Cup-mark Trail

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How to get

By car: from the A26 exit for Verbania. When you get to Intra take the provincial road (SP) towards Premeno; the village of Bèe is just after Vignone.
By train: the nearest station is Verbania-Pallanza. From the station you can get a bus to Intra and then one to Bèe.


This easy, well-marked trail (allow 3 hours) provides an excellent occasion to combine a walk in the woods high above Lake Maggiore with the chance of discovering the intriguing prehistoric rock engravings known as cup-marks.

The circular path round Monte Cimolo starts from Piazza Barozzi in Bèe, a village in the hills 8 km from Verbania, and takes you towards the hamlet of Roncaccio with its fine medieval historic centre. On the way to the woods look out for the Votive Chapel of the Sciuvlino, which has a 16th century fresco of the Virgin Enthroned. An unsurfaced trail leads shortly to the Coss cup-marks, the first stop on a fascinating tour of discovery of cup-marked boulders, of which the next three are 'Cascina del Viturin', 'Albagnano' and 'Mulin Feree'. The trail also crosses pretty Alpine pastures and rural hamlets, which form part of the heritage of tradition and folk culture of the district.

The Cup-marks. Various interpretations have been attributed to these engravings. The first is a sacred interpretation which sees these small, sometimes shallow, sometimes deep hollows as an indication of the place where the blood of sacrificial victims flowed, or where incense, ointment or wax was deposited, perhaps to be used as lamps during nocturnal ceremonies. Another theory hypothesises that the carved boulders were a useful way of signalling or communicating across the distances between the various hill-tops. Yet another theory interprets them as a religious symbol linked to the cult of  the dead, perhaps as a form of devotion, to collect water and food for the deceased. But the interpretations of their significance are many and various: depictions of the constellations, signs of property, numerical symbols, primordial topographical representations, effigies of the female sex, crude baptismal fonts.

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