The second week of the VAingiro trip took us to Valceresio and Malnate, discover 6 different municipalities. An area rich in greenery, mountains, waterways and routes to be covered on foot or by bicycle, for experts and less experienced. Between Monte Orsa, Pravello, the Cadorna line, giant benches, dinosaur fossils and a lot of history, this is what we encountered on our journey.
Besano welcomed us with a fantastic sunny day that eased and made this scene really beautiful. An intimate center, an area to discover that offers opportunities to walk a few meters from the town hall on Colle San Martino up to Monte Orsa and Monte Pravello, with breathtaking views and an inevitable view of Ceresio. Accompanied by a pleasant walk by Antea Franceschin, we found out the ichthyol brides and dinosaurs at the Fossil Museum, a must for young and old school children from all over the Varese area. Among the various encounters, those with two young bar girls who have given new life to the city’s circolino and a family of pharmacists who have carried on the tradition for two generations.
Another small town immersed in Valceresio, where it is located a scary and huge testimony as Saltrio Venator Zanellaialso known as Saltriosaurus. In Saltrio, there is an association that does everything to improve and promote the territory with events, demonstrations and concrete gestures: Monte Orsa’s friends they are a real asset. An example? The red bench towering over the citywhich is located just above Salnova quarry and a short distance from Cava Brusata, restored and reinforced by the association in 2019 and has become a real attraction with thousands of visits, selfies and photographs. At the center are several realities that are resisting despite the crisis, the pandemic and the competition from neighboring Switzerland.
Lots of nature and many surprises also in Clivio, where our Adelia Brigo was on tour. The alpaca farm is a real gem, just as the lavender plantation of the former mayor of Clivio Ida Petrillo is, who reinvented himself as a farmer along with her husband. Helichrysum is also grown in Clivio, a special essence that smells of licorice. Borderlandin the municipal area there is also a lot of history, naturally and not only.
THE CITY OF VIGGIÙ
A true immersion in art and culture on the Viggiù stage. Four museums, many artists around the world and numerous sculptors heirs of the tradition stonemasons (the famous Picasass), but also wonderful views and real surprises that add value to the territory. General Biancardi’s tower was a real gift overlooking the magnificent Ceresio. In the quarries, where generations of Viggiutesi have worked for centuries, there are projects for restoration and improvement, while for those who want to discover the area, there are many trails and paths immersed in the Bevera Valley. And how can we forget the tradition of the Viggiù firefighters, handed down and preserved by the restaurant managers in the city center. Thanks to the leader of the Municipality’s Cultural Sector Francesco Rizzi we went and visited museums, shop owners, historical sites (Villa Borromeo and the former Viggiù Hotel are not to be missed) and personalities such as Delfio Cracò, President of the Sanfratelliani Association, who exalt the city of friendship between Viggiù and the Sicilian city of San Fratello.
In Cantello we had the privilege of being driven (by electric car) far and wide through the streets of the municipality from kl. Mayor Chiara Catellaby his deputy Genziana Malnati and by delegate councilor for culture Silvia Buzzi, a proud trio of their country that transmits enthusiasm. Between asparagus fields and equestrian centers, village improvement projects and historic restaurants where people from all over the world get married, Cantello has proven to be a country full of opportunities. There are many routes to take on foot and by bike, close to the Swiss border in Gaggiolo, where a beautiful and significant monument represents the connection between Italy and Switzerland.
THE MALNATE STAGE
Malnate is the ninth most populous city in the province of Varese, we told about it thanks to the guidance of Mayor Irene Bellifemine and the support of a colleague who lives in the city, Francesco Mazzoleni. Marco Corso also joined Mulini di Gurone, who photographed the dam from above with his drone, a truly impressive project that, seen from this view, really shows itself in all its grandeur. Despite the fact that Malnate is a city in every respect, Malnate also offers a lot from an environmental point of view: The Bernasconi Mill is a jewel in the middle of the Lanza Valley, which will be improved thanks to the bike / walking path that reaches Cantello with a path surrounded by greenery and tranquility. Malnate is also and above all a children’s town, a city tailored for the little ones, offering safe routes, events dedicated to children and young people and many opportunities to meet and live together. Many associations and volunteers who make themselves available to make Malnate a city inclusive and participatory, with truly beautiful and full of life open spaces such as Parco I Maggio or Villa Braghenti, home of the Mario Realini Museum of Natural History, a real gem. From the Iron Bridge to the Legambiente projects, we have told part of Malnate, aware of the many other things that we could not encounter on even a long day of hiking, but which are ready to be discovered by tourists or weekend guests.