Veddasca: traveling between art, nature, theater, the sacred and the profane in the heart of the “Sacred Valley”

Average reading time: 4 minutes

New appointments await tourists and residents of the Val Veddasca during the summer of 2022, as part of the project The Sacred Valley, made by Pro Loco Maccagno with Community Foundation of Varese as major supporter and with the patronage of Municipality of Maccagno with Pino and Veddasca.

From 9 July to 18 September will be held a series of itineraries to discover the wonders and secrets of this extraordinary territory enclosed by the shores of Lake Maggiore, with the aim of giving boost to soft mobility and slow tourismwhich will have as their final destination the photographic exhibition contest The spirituality of Val Veddasca “on 22 October at the Meeting Point in Maccagno.

Routes between nature, architecture, sacred and profane artlives of the saints and theatrical performances that will tell stories and legends: an unmissable opportunity to visit little-known villages, savoring their spirit and beauty from a historical and naturalistic point of view, thanks to expert guides who will accompany visitors on each of the itineraries scheduled.

Here they are in detail.

Saturday 9th July, at 17.00, Federico Crimi – profound connoisseur of these territories and art historian – will be the guide of a very pleasant walk In the maple forest. The Via Crucis and the Church of Penedegra in Graglioa journey through the sacredness of these places.

The small hamlet of Graglio boasts three churches, which amaze for their decorative richness and size. One of these, immersed in the woods, is the church of San Giuseppe, better known as the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Penedegra, which houses two splendid frescoes: the one on the main altar is the work of Antonio Ciseri; Antonio da Tradate, on the other hand, is the author of the “Madonna del latte”.

Saturday 16 July, at 5.00 pm, Maurizio Miozzialso a renowned local historian and author of numerous volumes on Val Veddasca and Val Dumentina, will propose the sacred itinerary The way of the people. From the chapel on the top to the church of San Bernardino in Musignano.

The Oratory has essential lines but retains a valuable bell tower and a wall clock. Unfortunately, in 2002 the precious altarpiece depicting the Saint prostrate before the Virgin of the Angels, of whom he was devoted, was stolen. Thanks to a copy made by two artists from Maccagno, Mario and Marco Catenazzi, the work can still be admired today inside the church.

From the sacred to nature: the “Sacred Valley” suggests the former naturalistic itinerarywho will have two exceptional companions: Paolo Fumagalli, environmental and hiking guide, and Sonia Gallazzi, naturopath.

Throughout the whole day of Sunday 31 July, from 10.00 to 17.00we will walk through the enchanted woods around the Montagnola pond, passing between the villages of Campagnano and Musignano: The spirituality of the forest between birch and chestnut trees it is a ring of 7.5 kilometers and 500 meters in altitude which, however, does not involve difficulty (level E, hiking, medium easy); a very pleasant path along which you can discover the herbal and phytotherapeutic properties of these plants.

Tuesday 16th August, in conjunction with the traditional Feast of San Rocco, a Campagnano, there will be a themed theatrical performance, dedicated to the figure of the Saint, San Rocco and the bonfires. Quarantine storiesa co-production of the Pro Loco Maccagno and Teatro in Drao: the church of San Rocco tells stories that come down to us from the past, with a very current look on the theme of how man has faced pandemics.

Saturday 20 August, at 5.00 pm, Roberto Baggio – expert gnomonist – will tell an extraordinary story: Heaven on earth. The sundial of San Martino in Campagnano. On the side of the church of San Martino, in Campagnano, there is the largest solar quadrant in Europe – 36 square meters of painted surface – dating back to 1783, probably the work of the Jesuit Francesco Luini.

Saturday 27 August, at 5.00 pm, a double trip: the professor of art history Elisabetta Cornolò will talk about de Ada Negri’s lawn. From the Church of Bruganten (Veddo) to the shrine of San Giovanni Battista in Piantonazzo; a theatrical performance dedicated to Ada Negri (1870-1945) will follow: Calm, silence, purity, simplicity, light!, produced by Pro Loco Maccagno in collaboration with APS Gattabuia.

The great poet often stayed in the surroundings of Veddo, defining “such beautiful and serene places” those that surrounded her house in Caviggia. Among her favorite walks, the one in Bruganten, where the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Neve is located; right here, she found inspiration for some of her most famous lyrics.

Saturday 10 September, at 5.00 pmanother sacred path (by Elisabetta Cornolò and Federico Crimi), during which the guides will illustrate The memory of the snow. – the church of S. Maria in Forcora. Also a small treasure enclosed in the Val Veddasca, the Church of the Madonna della Neve rises at 1179 meters above sea level. Originally a small open chapel, where functions were sometimes officiated, it was enlarged and completed between 1845 and 1967.

It was the parish priest of Graglio at the time, Giovanni Contini, who on 6 June 1791 asked the Curia of Milan for that oratory that was located on the Forcora pasture, in order to offer a place of worship to breeders during the summer season, when they brought to pasture their flocks.

Sunday 18 September, from 10.00 to 17.00Paolo Fumagalli and Sonia Gallazzi will again be the guides of another beautiful itinerary through Paths and legends of light. Stories of Lake Delio and Monte Borgna, a circuit of 7 kilometers – for a total of 400 meters in altitude – in a route of medium-easy difficulty.

The charm of the beech forest, with a view from the summit of Monte Borgna and its mountain moor (broom and moorland) and that small mirror of water so suggestive, steeped in legends and dreamlike visions – Delio, in its double meaning of proper name and metonymy to indicate the Sun – will form the background of the theatrical performance Legends of Lake Delio.

During these trips to discover places little known to most people, visitors will be able to take the opportunity to immortalizeaccording to the sensitivity of each one, spirituality in the Veddasca Valley, theme of the photographic contest that began on April 2 of this year and which, precisely to allow them to take themed shots, it was decided to extend until the end of the itineraries. The photo sent to Pro Loco Maccagno, they will come exhibited in an exhibition at the Meeting Point in via Valsecchi 21 in Maccagno with Pino and Veddasca, which will be inaugurated Saturday 22 October at 17.00.

It is no coincidence that this location was chosen, which represents an ideal arrival point for the Giona river and, by bringing the essence of Val Veddasca into the lake, it represents its beginning and end.

More details on the development of each itinerary and practical information will be communicated close to each event and published on social networks (FB, Instagram) and on the Pro Loco di Maccagno website (

Reservations are recommended to participate in events at, or via Whatsapp at 351 506 1272. Once the reservation has been made, updates will be received directly at the address.

Veddasca: traveling between art, nature, theater, the sacred and the profane in the heart of the “Sacred Valley”