Famous Sunday Market in Cannobio
Every Sunday from 08:00 until 13:30 Cannobio’s piazza becomes a bustling marketplace for clothes, food, household goods, pottery, plants and a variety of knick knacks. At the crack of dawn vendors from around the region arrive in their vans, which are essentially stalls on wheels. They have set up shop by the time the first cafes open. Renowned throughout the region, visitors from the Swiss canton of Ticino and towns around the lake throng the market and narrow alleyways of Cannobio, making Sunday a high point of the town’s week.
Hike to Sant’Anna Gorge (L’Oriddo di Sant’Anna)
Behind the town a path (used by joggers and hikers alike) leads into the mountains of the Cannobina Valley, a part of the Val Grande National Park. A 30 to 40 minute walk along the Cannobino River will take you to the Sant’Anna Gorge (L’Oriddo di Sant’Anna). The medieval Avostana Bridge which crosses the gorge was built in the 12th century. The Santa Anna Church followed in 1683. Behind the church is Ristorante Grotto Sant’Anna, a wonderful restaurant that overlooks the gorge. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner (closed on Monday). Call to make a reservation: +39 0323 70682.
Hike to Monte Gove via the Village of Santa Agata
Santa Agata is a small village on Monte Gove overlooking Cannobio. An hour hike uphill from Cannobio’s main road along the lake will bring you to this village of 150 inhabitants. From the square in front of the large church the route enters the village and then climbs through the woods before reaching the Oratorio di Santa Lucia in around 40 minutes.
From the Oratorio, the route proceeds in places on a paved mule track but largely along a footpath. Having passed the ruins of an alpeggio, or hill farm, you reach the fork heading to the agriturismo; leaving the agriturismo on your right the route climbs gently to a chapel (in around 40 minutes).
Leaving the route that descends to Cavaglio on your left, take the path that climbs to the Alpe and the Rifugio Zabò (50 minutes). Gently climbing along an unsurfaced road, you reach the fork for Monte Giove (5 minutes) and from here the summit (20 minutes).
The summit of Monte Giove provides a 360° view out over Lake Maggiore, the Magadino plain, Locarno, Bellinzona, Brissago with its islands, the southern part of the lake, Cannobio and the whole of the Valle Cannobina.
Returning to the fork, take the path that descends on the right in the direction of the Alpe Marcalone Agriturismo. The route begins with a series of steps then develops into a path and an unsurfaced road.
You may enjoy a fine panorama from just above Alpe Marcalone before descending to the agriturismo in around 50 minutes. You then descend across the meadows before reaching the fork on the previous path (15 minutes). From here you reach the village of Sant’Agata where an easy descent takes you back to Cannobio.
Hike to Cannero via Carmine Superiore
From the main Cannobio-Traffiume Road an easy uphill trail takes you progressively higher onto the ridge between Cannobio and the Village of Carmine Superiore. After about 40 minutes, you will reach a fork. Take the left path through the forest to the charming village of Carmine Superiore. Stop for a visit to Chiesa San Gottardo with its beautiful view of the lake. Follow the signs through the forest to Cannero which you will reach in approximately an hour. Take a boat from Cannero Rivera back to Cannobio. Make sure you check when the last boat leaves.
Day Trip to the Borromeo Islands
Situated on the western side of Lake Maggiore, directly opposite the town of Stresa, the three Borromean Islands lie in a wide gulf surrounded by mountains. The islands take their name from the aristocratic Borromean family who assumed ownership of the land in the 16th and 17th centuries. Only the best architects and gardeners were called on by the family – themselves art lovers and botanists-to breathe life into their ambitious projects.
Despite their alpine setting, the three Borromean Islands share a pleasant climate, but each offers a very different experience. Isola Bella was completely transformed by its occupants, and its palace and gardens are the epitome of opulence and luxury. In contrast, the Isola dei Pescatori, with its village unchanged by time, offers a fascinating simplicity. Finally, the exotic atmosphere of the lush and tranquil Isola Madre can be ascribed to the gardens that almost totally cover it.
The Borromean Islands are easy to reach from Cannobio by boat or car and are a must-see destination for every visitor to Lake Maggiore.
Day Trip to Lake Orta
Lake Orta lies to the west of Lake Maggiore, approximately a 40 minute drive from Cannobio. It is one of the smallest and least-known of northern Italy's sub-Alpine lakes, but all the fascination and the history of the larger lakes seem to be concentrated in this small space. Visit the picturesque town of Orta and the Island of San Giulio. To reach Orta by car from Cannobio take the lake road SS34 and exit at Feriolo onto SS 33 direction Gravelone Toce. Continue on Strada Statale 229 and watch for the signs to Orta.
Day Trip from Cannobio to Santa Maria Maggiore through the Cannobina Valley
The Cannobina Valley connects Cannobio to the town of Santa Maria Maggiore. A lovely day trip by car follows the Cannobina River through a shady valley that leads most of the time through dense hardwood forest on winding roads. You will pass small villages where it feels like time stands still – Spoccia, Orasso, Gurro, Malesco, Craveggio until you reach the town of Santa Maria Maggiore. It is worth visiting the ethnographic Museo del Valle Cannobina at Gurro and the village Craveggia for its exquisite old town of stone houses with unusual chimneys.
Day Trip to Ascona, Locarno and Lugano, Switzerland
Visit Key Towns on the Italian Side of Lago Maggiore – Verbania, Stresa, Arona, Luino
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