By The Alps – Alagna & Macugnaga
My husband and I spent most of the past three weeks with the family but we also managed to visit some new places or to re-visit others. It was so fun to be tourists in our own town! Verbania and Lago Maggiore are really amazing. If you, guys, are thinking to visit Italy, definitely you should consider to add these destinations to your trip. Venice, Rome, Florence, Naples are magical. No one can say otherwise. But Italy is full of hidden gems that, sometimes, it’s worth to do something different than the typical touristic tour.
Verbania is strategically located next to the lake and the mountains. So, it offers many things to do for both those who love beaches and sun and those who prefer mountains and fresh air.
I’m definitely part of the first group, but sometimes I like to spend a day (maximum two!) at the mountain. This time my husband and I managed to visit two incredible places, pretty close to Verbania: Macugnaga and Alagna.
Macugnaga – Monte Rosa
Macugnaga is the small town at the feet of Monte Rosa. I’ve been here before. When I was young I took part of the skii school for a year or two. But, more than my childhood, this place reminds me my grandmother and my grand-grandmother. Our family album is full of photos of these two wonderful women who have been always indipendent and strong. They usually used to spend the summer in Macugnana, being busy to explore all shelters around the area.
It’s not difficult to understand why they were so in love with this place. The Monterosa ice is spectacular. You just feel so tiny standing in front of it.
There are several itineraries that you can do to explore Monte Rosa. Some of them are for experts, others can be easily done by everyone. My husband and I were with his sister and her husband who are experts. But, thanks god ( because I’m NOT an expert), there were also my nephew and nice (7 and 4 years old), who, by the way, were probably more trained than myself.
So we went to Capanna Zamboni. The route is quite easy (the next day I couldn’t walk, but yes, it was quite easy 😉 ). After one hour and half of walk you reach a shelter with a large level ground behind and you can decide if to eat at the house or to bring sandwiches and snacks by yourself.
I highly suggest to keep some energy on the way back to visit Macugnaga city. It’s a gorgeous little town. Each corner, with those flowers beautifully placed, calls for a photo!
Alagna – Valsesia
We went to Alagna with a group of friends. Unlike the trip we did to Macugnaga, the day we spent in Alagna was more about food and realx! You can easily reach Alagna by car and than you take the cableway to reach three refuges. In this case, the itinerary is really easy and it takes only few minutes of walk.
Of course, there are also different itineraries, more difficult and where you can reach higher places. But for this city girl, the first pit stop was already enough, lol!
Be prepared to breath fresh air, eat a lot because the food is amazing and because, as it’s common to say, mountain stimulates your appetite. If it’s a sunny day you can do a bath of sun after lunch and a quick nap.
As Macugnaga, also Alagna is such a well curated town. Houses seem almost fake for how beautiful and perfect they are. You walk along tiny streets, between these wood houses, and the only thing you think is that you are ready to give up your life and to retire here. Right now!