The Simplon Valley from Crevoladossola to Trasquera
How to get
By train: the nearest railway station is Preglia.
One of the must-see valleys among the splendid valleys of the Ossola is the Divedro Valley, situated between the Bognanco Valley and the Antigorio Valley and bordering with Switzerland to the north. It is inserted in a much broader context of mountains of differing altitudes which rise in a space of only 20km from a height of 280 metres above sea level on the plain of Crevolodossola to the 3,553 metres of Monte Leone, the highest peak of the Lepontine Alps.
Leaving from Crevoladossola and driving along the Diveria River, you reach the Divedro Valley and then the Swiss border and the Simplon Pass, which gives its name to the whole Simplon Valley.
Once past the magnificent gorge of Crevoladossola, spanned by the majestic Napoleonic bridge (site of a major battle in 1487 between the Helvetians and the Duchy of Milan), the Divedro Valley is dominated by the broad dell of Varzo, the central community of the area, with its over 50 dependent villages. From Varzo, the lateral Cairasca valley leads to San Domenico and the splendid Alpe Veglia, a picturesque broad high valley of glacial origin which, together with Alpe Devero has been a protected area and natural park since 1978.
Trasquera, a small place situated on a sort of natural balcony with a permanently sunny exposure, dominates in the northernmost part of the valley close to Switzerland, against the background of the 4,000 m peaks of the Simplon. Not to be missed is the little sixteenth-century church dedicated to Saints Gervasio and Protasio, the Chapel of Frigna at the village of Schiaffo, and, above all, the “Devil’s Bridge” which offers a wonderful panoramic view.
Finally, we reach Iselle, the last inhabited town on the Italian side of the border. The road continues along the steep, narrow gorge of Gondo towards the Swiss border.