Created in 1992, Verbano Cusio Ossola is one of the eight Provinces of the Region of Piemonte. Made up of 77 municipalities, it came into being as a result of the union of three separate geographic entities: Verbano, Cusio and Val d’Ossola, whose most important cities are Verbania, Omegna and Domodossola respectively. Domodossola, was the first municipality which, in 1981, approved the formation of the new province since Verbano-Cusio-Ossola was considered to be the only viable entity capable of meeting the needs of the inhabitants.
The province and its monuments
The dominant feature of this region are the various natural green areas, ideal for walks and excursions. The part of Piemonte occupied by this province is included in the territory of the National Park of Val Grande.
It is possibile to admire real monuments set in Nature here, like the Sacred Mountain of Domodossola: it is marked by 12 chapels on a devotional route dedicated to the Via Crucis, each decorated with statues and frescoes and, on top, there is the octagonal sanctuary of the Holy Cross, dating to 1657. The Sacred Mountain of Griffa and the Sacred Mountain of the Holy Trinity are also worth seeing. All three are Unesco World Heritage Sites.
The area is characterised by mountains and hills with sinuous contours, full of mountain torrents and streams. The entire province is part of the catchment area of the Ticino River, whose waters flow into Lake Maggiore (otherwise known as Lake Verbano). The smaller Lakes Mergozzo and Orta (or Cusio) are also found in the same catchment area.
There are two national parks in this area: one is the National Park of Val Grande, a strip of land without towns, tarred roads or modern infrastructure. It is the biggest unspoilt area in the Alps, traces of the past still visible in the paths open to excursionists.
Also worth seeing is the National Park of the Veglia and Severo Alps, home to the most extensive pastures in the area and from which it takes its name. In these difficult years for the alpine valleys, the National Park works with the aim of uniting Nature conservation and sustainable development for the inhabitants of these mountains.