Autumn in Val d’Ossola
What I’ve learned from living abroad is to appreciate more the country I was born and lived in. When I came back to Italy I noticed how poor was my knowledge of this land but I gained such an incredible will to discover and learn from visiting new places.
You can enjoy a short holiday having only a couple of days off from work…we are surrounded by thousands of beautiful landscapes, especially in Italy, that are worth even few hours of your time.
There was a time when I was younger I used to skip school to go skiing in the Appennines´ mountain, even if I am not that brave I am still in love with mountains and hills landscapes.
Living in Milan is pretty easy to reach the pre-Alps. We wanted to escape the rush of the city for couple of days and we found this really interesting Farm House located in the Val d’Ossola valley upon the small city of Domodossola in the Piedmont Region..
The location is called La Tensa, is a farmhouse managed by a young couple Chiara & Fabio who have always been passionate by the nature and the roots of the place they are living in.
The farmhouse is a small village made of seven rock houses, which have been renovated by Fabio’s father after ten years of hard work.
Before that time the small village was inhabited by the locals and there was no road connected to the small village for this reason during the 1960s became uninhabited and was completely taken back by the nature.
You will find three rooms and four apartments where you can either go with your beloved, your friends or with your big family. If you choose the room you will have the breakfast included too.
The view from the houses is breathtaking. The windows are facing the valley and the snowy mountains.
The gentle Chef Sabrina enraptured us during lunch with her incredibly delicious homemade ravioli filled with roast and a super good slow cooked pork with beer and honey served by the brilliant Simonetta.. All the ingredients are km 0.
The Farm produce on the same spot their own vegetables and fruit which during summer time you can buy. They make their own jams, honey and meat.
From the Farm La Tensa starts two walking routes that lead in approximately 40 minutes to the Holy Mount Calvario mount located on the reserve, part of Unesco heritage since 2003. To reach the Calvario Mount you will enjoy of the uncontaminated nature.
The route includes another small village called Anzuno which means “Nobody”, in fact you can really see that probably there is no one living there the all year around.
The village is famous for its pressing machine made of chestnut wood, dating back to 18th century and it is still working.
We spent our evening in the cute town of Domodossola, 15 minutes from La Tensa. I warmly recommend you to have a tea or chocolate break at the old market square at Coccole & Caffé, the cakes are incredible. We got to be in Domodossola when there was going on an interesting photo exhibition of the Alpine skiing curate by the Alpine photographer Claudio Camisasca and Davide Pravettoni, showing the traverse of the glacier located on the Swiss Bernese Oberland, for the celebration of the 40° anniversary of the Alpine school.
We found a really cute place to eat called Osteria Vecchiabiglia, recently opened, which follows the culinary roots of the land with a refined touch. The staff is incredibly friendly and passionate, the great chef Maurizio Pozzoli came to say Hi before starting his great work! For antipasto we had the delicious locals, km 0, cold cuts. I had pappardelle with deer ragout, the meat so tender and tasty, which perfectly matched with the local rye beer 40Dí ,I wish that moment could have been endless.
On the next day we started our journey to discover the towns of Santa Maria Maggiore and Malesco. Reaching these towns you will come across breathtaking landscapes views of the mountains, rivers and waterfalls.
Santa Maria Maggiore is famous for being the main town in the Vigezzo Valley, its chimney sweep museum and gatherings, and its cute local shops. We bought from here the local home made sausage with blueberries. Only two minutes from Santa Maria Maggiore and we arrived at Malesco. Even if Melasco have 1400 inhabitant This old town on Sunday looked bewitched. The only inhabitant was a cute cat with orange and long fur, who was following us everywhere. Melasco is located in the beautiful National park Val Grande, approximately 740 meters on the sea level.
If you have time to continue until Finero you can reach the beautiful WWF Oasi, Pian dei Sali, an incredible fascinating moist area, surrounded by the uncontaminated nature, where you can find many amphibians and reptiles. If you do not have that much time or a car you can discover the all Valley riding the Centovalli-Vigezzina Panoramic Train, which in couple of ours connects you from Domodossola to Locarno in Switzerland, going through beautiful landscapes, nature and mountains. You can either choose to get off and visit the towns of Santa Maria Maggiore or Malesco or get off in the middle of the pure nature, and have a relaxing walk.
Summer is soon here, but in Italy there is no way that you can stay at home in autumn or winter time during your free time, everything is still beautiful!
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