Vogogna: beole country
The town has a vertical setting between the Monte Rosa, the Formazza Valley glaciers, the wilds of the AntronaValley and the woods of Valgrande. This illustrious ancient medieval village rises from the narrow valley following the banks of the River Toce. The remains of the ancient walls overlook the centre of the old town.
Starting at the parish church square, the walk through the village proceeds along the ancient road, paved with flagstones, to the porticos of Via Roma and on up to the Gothic Pretorio Palace, at the heart of the town's life and site of the old market. Our route takes us past the many elegant homes, the excise man's office, where merchants passing through the town would pay taxes on the goods they were transporting, and the 'Palazzo dell'Insinuazione' - finally to arrive at an alleyway which leads to the imposing castle.
After following a short trail that climbs the mountainside, we reach a massive fortress from where we can enjoy the view of the Monte Rosa and over the typical 'beole' grey stone roofs. A restaurant in the heart of the village which is simple, but which pays great attention to the service, or a rustic trattoria below the fortress, give us the opportunity to sample the authentic local specialties: a selection of Val d'Ossola salami, ham from the Val Vigezzo, small venison sausages for starters, then there are 'gnocchi ossolani' - prepared with chestnut flour, pumpkin, juices from the roast and cubes of local cheese - ravioli filled with game, or snails au gratin. There are many local cheeses with which to end this repast, but the most superior of these is Bettelmatt. We can choose from Prünent, Cà d’Matè, Ossolanum, Tarlap, Balòss and Cà d’Susana wines, whilst the local grappa continues to be produced in the traditional copper stills.