Departed from Locarno, the fourth stage of the Grand Tour of the Alps soon put us in front of a difficult choice: giving up the Sempione and the entire Mont Blanc area to have more time to spend on the Piedmontese dirt roads and on the Mercantour. In fact, the goal was to stay within the six stages to be able to tell the journey that each of us can do in a week's time (considering the two as well “transfers” obviously).
The result of this fourth stage, therefore, he alternated moments of fun road and beautiful landscapes at some points a bit’ more boring than anything seen so far, it could not be otherwise having to go down a bit’ of share. However, there are some interesting ideas, especially in the area that goes from Centovalli to Valsesia.
ATTENZIONE: Unfortunately, Google Maps automatically reactivates the motorways and tolls option, just remove it to get the correct path which is not the one shown in this preview, but it passes through Ivrea.
- Locarno: the third largest city in the Canton of Ticino by population knows how to be peaceful and lively at the same time. When we arrived, eg, we were welcomed by a summer evening enlivened by a Street Food festival with live music and many young people. Yet a few steps further on we were able to relax on a bench looking at the lake. If you are a cinephile you will certainly know that a prestigious film festival is also held here, second in terms of longevity only to that of Venice. The city itself does not have many attractions, but it is a good starting point for discovering an area that has a lot to offer both in terms of landscape and history. And then there's the exotic charm of being just across the border.
- Centovalli: winding and sewn on the mountain, the so-called Centovalli road begins in Intragna and takes you to the Italian-Swiss border of Camedo. If you're around here, it's a must.
- Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sangue: when one has just entered Italy, almost suddenly you find yourself in front of this imposing sanctuary that impresses and forces you to stop. Here everything is small and wedged in a not particularly wide valley and even more so the size of the neo-Byzantine building amazes and impresses. To visit not only for the architecture, obviously, but because it keeps the fresco of 1400 which gave rise to its history and fame by losing blood.
- Lake of Orta: impressive from wherever you look at it, Lake Orta alone deserves a trip and is full of points of historical landscape interest. I'm lucky enough to have it relatively close to home and it's one of my favorite destinations to relax my mind and contemplate creation.
- Colma pass: it is certainly not a famous passage, but it is a very pleasant road to drive. It connects the western side of Lake Orta with Valsesia. A good road for the curves and the places it leads to.