A Stroll through Cannobio
The original centre of the town, known as the “Borgo”, begins from the ancient Via al Castello and takes the visitor into a timeless world of old houses, flights of steps and lanes leading down towards the lake front. These narrow streets, shut in by high buildings, were designed to protect the inhabitants from hostile incursions from the lake.
Cannobio’s lakefront is one of the finest promenades on Lake Maggiore. Starting from the southern end (called “Amore”), the first thing to notice is the marble sculpture of a lion, made by Giulio Branca in memory of the successful defence of the burgh against attack by the Austrians in 1859. Farther on you can explore the area of the old fisher houses before ending up in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele III, the square that is the main meeting place in the town. The other colourful buildings adorning the lakefront, with their picturesque porticoes, boutiques and bars, date from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Going back up Via Giovanola you come to the former town hall, the Palazzo della Ragione (late 13th century), now known by the name of “Parasio”, and then to the most important church in the town, the 18th century San Vittore, flanked by a Romanesque bell tower. Another interesting church is the Sanctuary of the Santissima Pietà, the scene in 1522 of the supposed miracle of the “sacred rib”.
Cannobio is also well-known for its lido, a broad, well-appointed beach which is enjoyed by bathers and water sports enthusiasts.