Attractions Gignese and surroundings

Close to major attractions
50km from Malpensa Airport
More than a B&B, a home...

What to see and visit



Gignese also has its giant panghina. It was installed on Mount Skiaré, at an altitude of more than 800 meters, over the Easter weekend. It is located next to the chapel present on the summit.
The maxi bench was installed by the City Council and Pro Loco of Gignese to boost tourism in the small town between Lakes Maggiore and Orta. The association that announced its installation with a message on Facebook, “A huge thank you to Stefano Strola for strongly believing in this project and making it happen together with Alessandro Basalini. A huge thank you also to all the others who helped in the placement and a thank you to those who continue to believe a us.”
The giant bench can be reached by a short walk from the Pisciola locality, where the picnic area and ecological island are located. Once on Mount Sciarè, a beautiful view of Lake Maggiore and the surrounding mountains can be enjoyed from the bench.








The villa is located in the municipality of Gignese at 700 m above sea level in the province of Verbano Cusio Ossola, a renowned resort town located halfway between Stresa and Mottarone, as well as on the road of the two rivieras that connects Lake Maggiore with Lake Orta. The prime location ensures cool summers and a climate mitigated by lakes in an oasis of well-being and tranquility. Mottarone can be reached in less than half an hour and offers many summer and winter activities. Two of the most important golf courses in the area “Golf des Iles Borromèes” and “Golf club Alpino di Stresa” are located in the immediate vicinity.


Of the faith lived out in practice witness religious buildings such as the parish church dedicated to St. Maurice. To the east of the village, at the junction of the old Stresa-Orta mercantile road with the road to Nocco, there was in the 500s a small temple dedicated to the Purification of the Virgin, or Madonna di Bretta. From a statue worshipped here, the ancient dedication changed in the last century to the current one to St. Roch. Linked to the Erno and its floods is the story of the Madonna del Sasso. A traveler swept away by the waters of the raging torrent invoked Mary and had his life saved by clinging to a boulder. On that rock he then had the image of Our Lady of the Rosary painted as a vow. Subsequently, plans were made to cut down the boulder and bring the image to a new little church, which was inaugurated in 1939 and is still dear to the Gignesini today. As a result of the Colla bequest, City Hall was implanted in the building that bears imprint of the artistic whimsy of its owner, Architect Angelo Colla. Monument to the fallen soldiers of the Great War, the school building, constituted a major financial sacrifice for the town, but proved to be one of the most innovative achievements, both in terms of its capacity (it housed the first headquarters of the Umbrella Museum) and location. The museum, conceived in 1939 by agronomist I. Ambrosini, who is also responsible for the Alpinia Garden, has been set up in the new premises promoted by the Friends of the Museum Association since 1976. The country’s decline now seemed inexorable if a new and unpredictable fact had not intervened: Tourism. At first it was a few English hikers who set out for Mottarone to enjoy its extraordinary wide panorama. When means of communication made travel easier, the flow of visitors coming up from hotels in Stresa and Baveno became more sustained, and so enterprising operators built hotels in the best places to offer comfort and hospitality in an exceptional setting. Elite tourism in the early twentieth century gave a particular imprint to the landscape, marked by the Art Nouveau style.


Genesius, the Genoese
The story goes that in the 11th century a certain Genesio, a Genoese by origin, in order to escape the reprisal meted out to him by nobles to whom he had rebelled, took refuge with his wife and three children in the Mergozzolo woods ,in the very area where Gignese stands. At the same time it happened that three young women, in order to escape the plague that had broken out in the Milanese area, where it was making horrendous carnage, took refuge in the same place and there married the three young men. From the happy marriages were born the children who contributed to the birth of the new town, which in honor of Genesius, was named Gignese.

The Papal Stone
Around the now vanished but once famous papal stone located in the territory of Gignese, curious legends have flourished in distant times. The Divine Master, wandering on the slopes of Mottarone to admire the wonderful work of the Father, tired stopped where the mountain slopes and in a plateau sat down to rest. To the apostles who showed a desire to go on, he said, Engineer yourselves! (ingignevas). From that exclamation the locality was named Gignese. The apostle Peter continued the journey all alone. He came to a large granite boulder. He was struck by the gigantic proportion and paused to admire it. Immediately his mind ran to the words that the Master had said to him one day:-You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church, and he reflected resting on the rock before returning to the Master.
Thus the boulder is said to have been given the adjective “Papal” in honor of the stop made there by the first Pope St. Peter.

Another legend exists around the papal stone. The stone was placed on the mountaintop near Gignese. One day the “gnel” (the mammon lamb), that is, the devil himself, gave him a tremendous horn that sent him tumbling all the way down; a hollow in the stone, now demolished, testified it was made by the horn. Some have called it the Bishop’s stone, perhaps deeming it excessive to inconvenience the Pope for only 1,500 cubic meters of granite. It is noteworthy that several scholars, including geologist Carlo Parona of the University of Turin, have dealt with this major geological monument in the area, of which the memory, or the testimony of some fact, remains in older people.

More information can be found on the official website of the Municipality of Gignese

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