Natural Park of Lagoni di Mercurago

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How to get

Take the A-road from Novara to Arona. By going straight beyond the watershed in the direction of Dormelletto, therefore avoiding a turn to the right for the offices, you can enter the ""Stra' di Lagon"" Park that starts from the three small wooden houses (the first of which, ""Alpini"", is easy to identify from the cannon sitting in the garden). This entry is the most convenient, also coming from A-road 33 and from the Castelletto exit of the A4 toll motorway. In this case, you reach the entry of Lagoni after passing through the town of Dormelletto


A short distance from the centre of Arona, on the hills which surround Lake Maggiore from the part belonging to Piedmont, there is a natural area which includes the peat-bogs of Mercurago, some pastures dedicated to the rearing of thoroughbred horses and many woodland areas.

Prehistoric settlements have been discovered in the area dating back to the Bronze Age, together with some Roman domus. This area has been protected since 1980, when, on the people’s initiative, the Park of the “Lagoni di Mercurago” (Mercurago Great Lakes) was instituted. Today, the lakes are managed, together with the Fondotoce Reserve and Dormelletto reed beds, by the Park Associations of Lake Maggiore.

The “Canneti di Dormelletto” special nature reserve extends along the Piedmont banks of Lake Maggiore, between Arona and Castelletto Ticino, with a length of around four kilometres and a surface area of around 157 hectares. The Piedmont Region, in conjunction with the Municipality, the Park Management Association and the Lake Maggiore Reserve, intended to preserve the environment and to recover it. Natural vegetation extends along the waterfront, with the typical reedy marshlands.

At Villa Tesio, home to a breeding farm for thoroughbred horses, it may be possible, with a bit of luck, to admire the brood mares with their foals in the pastures of the estate. The nature reserve of Bosco Solivo, an area of “particular countryside importance” among the morainal terraces of Basso Verbano, holds some interesting evidence of an ancient patronage of the territory. A stone of modest dimensions, near to the Torre Vignolo, shows signs of a set of holes in the rock, round cavities created by the hand of man. These rocky incisions, the subject of many theories, are evidence of the primeval need to ritually come into contact with a higher dimension. Also the Prèia Guzzana, an erratic mass in serpent-like green of great dimensions, boasts a magic tradition linked to fertility: on the rock, there are traces of a probable chute, a common element in a ritual spread throughout the whole of Europe for millennia.

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