Indeed, the town of Paruzzaro proves a good starting point to discover the beauties that the area offers tourists. Paruzzaro holds two treasures of the Romanesque art, namely the tower that also act as the bell tower for the parish church of San Siro, and the church San Marcello. South of Paruzzaro there is the Regional Natural Park of the 'Lagoni di Mercurago': a peat-moor with ponds, marshes and an area of woods supporting a rich fowl population. The nearby town of Oleggio Castello features a 17th century parish church, located in a superb panoramic position, and Pozzo D'Annone Castle. Thi si one of the best-preserved specimens of neo-Gothic architecture in Italy. Invorio is considered the Southern door to Vergante. Here you can admire a high stone tower, being all that is left of a castle built in 12th century. Further on along the Alto Vergante provincial road, you arrive to Pisano, a village made up of two medieval settlements, separated by the square with an ancient church dedictaed to the Saints Eusebius and Maccabees. Leaving Pisano behind you, you enter the territory of Nebbiuno, where the most important archaeological findings of the whole Vergante area took place. The items are now kept at the Archaeological Museum of Arona. In the middle of the village, the parish church of St. George overhanging the neighbouring houses catches the visitor's eye.
The view of the town's territory and plain underneath that you can enjoy while walking along the right side of the parvis is highly suggestive. Financially speaking, this place lives on cultivation and marketing of typical lake flowers, such as: azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias. Since the year 1000, Massimo Visconti was the first fief of the Viscontis, a family that left numerous traces on the territory, the most important of which is 16th century castle built on the highest hill of the village. The other interesting monuments include the Romanesque church of St. Michael with its peculiar leaning bell tower, and the parish church of Santa Maria della Purificazione, formerly a pagan temple dedicated to Jupiter. On the nearby mount Monte San Salvatore there is a Benedectine Monastery whose church is flanked by a suggestive complex of cells and chapels. In the village of Brovello Carpugnino, you can see the beautiful parish church of Saint Donatus, of Romanesque-Gothic origin (14th century), today a national monument. Also the small church dedicated to Saint Peter and Paul is very old. It is complete with a Romanesque bell tower and is located in the country ward of Graglia Piana. If you leave Alto Vergante road northbound, toward the mount, you will cross Gignese. This small town is famous for its Museum of Umbrellas and Parasols, where about one thousand rare and curious items from 17th century to modern times are on display, together with the tools used to make umbrellas, a craftsmanship typical of this territory. After leaving Gignese on your way to Mottarone, you find the country ward of Alpino, belonging to the municipality of Stresa. Alpino is an intermediate stop of the cableway climbing from the lake to the top of the mountain. After a few kilometres, you take a road known as “La Borromea”. This is a panoramic road built in 1892 by Prince Vitaliano Borromeo and will bring you right to the top of the “two-lake mount”, as Mottarone is termed. In fact, thanks to its position, from its top you can enjoy a really enchanting view embracing both Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta. Also, from the cross set into the mountain top (1491 metres), you can appreciate the imposing crown of Alps and Pre-Alps with the dominating Mount Rosa, Po Valley, Lake Mergozzo and even part of Lakes Lugano, Varese, Monate and Comabbio.
Golf players who visit the area of Vergante and Mottarone can take advantage of an interesting offer: 27 holes in a small area covering a few kilometres, divided between the “Golf Club Alpino”, one of the oldest in Italy, and the “Golf Club des Iles Borromèes”, located in a wonderful panoramic area.
Texts and images are published with courtesy of
Lake Tourist District Scrl - corso Italia 18