How to get
By bus: bus for Villadossola, South circular line; or line Domodossola – Pieve Vergonte; or line Domodossola - Antrona. Timetables: www.vcoinbus.it
By car: motorway A26 Genova Voltri – Gravellona Toce; follow the road SS33, exit Villadossola.
Industrial iron and steel center, at the foot of Antrona Valley, the city developed in the 19th century thanks to the iron mines of Ogaggia and to the exploitation of water falls to produce electricity.
In 1804 the “Pietro Maria Ceretti”, after the start of the iron and steel activities in Viganella, implanted a first furnace and a mallet to transform in iron the cast iron produced in the Antrona Valley. With the construction of the Novara – Domodossola railway (1888) and the realization of the Simplon Tunnel (1906) the industrial activity had an important development. In the seventies followed an unavoidable crisis, determined by international competition and in a few years the plants of Villadossola closed or changed ownership.
In memory of this industrial past, the old “iron foundry” of Villadossola has become today the cultural structure “La Fabbrica”, theater and multipurpose center.
The Church of San Bartolomeo (end of 10th century), situated on the border of the river Ovesca, North of Villadossola, is considered one of the best example of Romanesque architecture of Ossola. The bell tower, of a high quality architecture and very refined ornated elements, dates back a few decades later.
At the entrance of the modern Church of Risen Christ, in 1967 the “Work Monument” has been inaugurated, realized using as its base the crucible of the old furnace of Viganella.
In the village of Piaggio the church of the Beata Vergine Assunta has been built. The original building, of the 8th–9th Century A.D., is buried under several meters of alluvium. The present church was rebuilt on it, probably in the 11th Century. The crypt of the church represents one of the first evidence of the spread of Christianity in Ossola.
Only ruins remain of the Oratory of San Maurizio al Sasso (11th century). It was abandoned early between the 15th and 16th centuries.