Valle Antrona – History and geography
The Valle Antrona is the most isolated valley of the region Ossola of Piemont.
Formed by glacial erosion, the Ovesca River meanders through the deeply incised riverbed, which in places reaches down more than 150 meters from the higher valley road.
On the road through the valley, centuries-old terraced crops stand out.
Most are slowly being overgrown by native fauna. R
oaming through the woods, old cultivation remains can still be seen, overgrown by chestnut trees with their mighty trunks - witnesses of this era, as many of these Ents are up to six hundred years old.
The earth was not only used for field work;
the Romans had already driven their first tunnels into the tough granite here to get to the coveted iron ore.
Even gold was mined until the last century.
Even today, every radiant's heart beats faster with the multitude of rare and beautiful mineral finds (all quartz crystals, black tourmaline, garnets, peridot, aquamarine, emerald, etc.).
According to mineralogical field researches of the Geological Institute of Milano, there are said to be more than 200 minerals in the Ossola valleys.
The only road into the valley starts in Villadossola and ends at the top in Antrona Piana.
From there, countless trails lead to the three passes to Switzerland via millennia-old passageways, formerly part of the Amber Road.
In recent history, these passes were used as smuggling trails.
During the Second World War, the Valle Antrona was an ideal retreat and hiding place for the partisans who fought against fascism until 1946.
At the end of the valley: Scenery like from the "Treasure in the Silver Lake".
One is Lake Antrona, formed in the middle of the 17th century by a landslide.
Its wonderfully fresh, cool water delights body, mind and soul.
Hiking trails lead through wild mountain fauna to the passes to Switzerland.
The archaic character of the villages of the Valle Antrona is still preserved today.
To the heart of the ancient villages, the visitor passes through a labyrinth of alleys and vaults to the bread oven and small squares - often lovingly restored - here and there a small pretty terraced garden with splendid flowers. Omnipresent the Madonna in small niches.
The wild nature and the reverberations of ancient cultures captivate us on a journey through time.
43 days to write a glorious and dazzling chapter in the history of the Italian Resistance known as the Republic of Ossola.
The Republic of Ossola, despite its short duration, was a real democratic experiment that could surprise the whole world because it was proclaimed in a country where war was raging.
The resistance in the Ossola Valley began on September 8, 1943 with the creation of the first anti-fascist groups and well-known actors such as Ettore Tibaldi or Silvestro Curotti.
From these and other groupings the first partisan formations developed, including "Valdossola", "Valtoce", "Piave", "Beltrami" and "Garibaldi".
There are countless episodes of the War of Liberation that took place in these valleys:
the Villadossola Uprising, the dramatic deportations, the Battle of Megolo, the terrible purges in the Val Grande or the miraculous rescue of the Simplon railroad tunnel.