Gravellona Toce: a thousand years of memory

Gravellona Toce
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How to get

By car: from the A26 exit at Gravellona Toce.
By train: Gravellona Toce station.


The Gravellona Toce area is historically very interesting. In 1954, excavation work for a new house turned up some fragments of pottery. This prompted a research activity which continued until 1959, and brought to light a number of burials with their grave goods, remains of buildings, sections of a Roman road and a quantity of objects – coins, pots, tools, pottery, ornaments, rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, swords, lances, javelins and knives.

The remains of three buildings were also uncovered: the so-called “Fisherman’s House”, “The Stables” and the “House of the Oven”. Undoubtedly other material has remained underground, but subsequent building developments prevailed over interest in the archaeology of the area. The valuable finds are now partly in the Mergozzo Antiquarium Museum and partly at the Archaeological Superintendent’s Office in Turin.

Near the Romanesque Church of San Maurizio, between some modern houses and what remains of the ancient Castello del Cerro, you can still visit the ruins of an imposing structure made of river stones and mortar faced with regular rows of shaped blocks of serizzo – probably a tower dating from Roman times.

In an area of Gravellona Toce where the vegetation has grown wild, you can still see the remains of a Roman fortalice; its strategic position and the steeply sloping ground dropping away to the River Strona suggest that the fortification had the dual function of lookout and defensive tower. What you can see today is the remains of three buildings made of smooth, shaped blocks of stone.