Vigezzo Valley, the valley of the painters

Leaving Lake Maggiore, you can climb either by bus or by train to Vigezzo Valley, that suddenly gives way to an idyllic upland surrounded by fir-trees and larches. The main resort of the valley is Santa Maria Maggiore, where you can visit the church painted with frescoes by local painters and the chimney-sweepers’ Museum, to learn about the history of hundreds of children and boys who had to leave their valley every autumn to go to the towns and work as chimney-sweeper. Other inhabitants worked as painter decorating churches and chapels with frescoes in Vigezzo and in the surrounding valleys. Another Museum you can visit is the Fine Arts School. Just before the border with Switzerland is the imposing basilica of Re in neo-Byzantine style, made of local grey stone. Inside multi-colored glass windows make charming light effects. There is also a collection of several votive offerings. The valley is pleasant and cool, picturesque, that’s why it was nicknamed "Valley of the painters".