The pink granite of Baveno
How to get
By train: the railway station of Baveno is on the Milan-Domodossola line.
The small town of Baveno is famous for its fine pink granite, which has been used for numerous buildings throughout the world. Some of these are the Arch of Peace and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, the columns of L’Opéra in Paris, the Karlskirche (Church of St Charles) in Vienna, the monument to Christopher Columbus in New York, and the Royal Palace of Bangkok. A monument on the lakefront to the “picasass”, the local stonemasons, pays tribute to the workers whose skill has made Baveno famous all over the world.
The granite which abounds on the eastern side of the Mottarone mountain above the town was extensively used as early as the 16th century, especially in Lombard architecture. Over the centuries the valuable rock was also exported abroad, at first by exploiting the many waterways accessible from the area.
Between Baveno and Feriolo there is a series of quarries, giving a characteristic appearance to the local environment. An interesting fact is that in addition to the precious pink granite, these quarries contain around 60 different mineral species, some of which Baveno has named, for example Bavenite, Bazzite and Flourite.