A beautiful excursion leads from picturesque Maccagno along the SP5 towards the Swiss border to the Valle Veddasca, a densely forested high valley through which the Giona River flows. Here you will find numerous old mountain villages such as Graglio or Armio at an altitude of 900 metres, surrounded by beautiful chestnut forests. From here you continue across the border to Alpe di Neggia, from where wonderful hiking trails lead to Monte Gambarogno (1,730 m) or Monte Tamaro (1,962 m) in one and a half or two and a half hours – including a magnificent view of Lake Maggiore. Only a few kilometres above Maccagno, a small road branches off in Veddasca to Passo La Forcora and on to Lago Delio, which leads unpaved behind the lake to Bassano. The Romanesque bell tower of the cemetery church is worth seeing here. From Bassano you return to Maccagno via Pino.
Another highly recommended excursion is to Piero, about two kilometres east of Veddasca in the valley of the same name. The village is known for its beautiful old mills and the typical stone-roofed houses.
The Via Verde Varesina is an excellent hike to Monteviasco, a now abandoned farming village that used to be home to many smugglers due to its proximity to the Swiss border. A convenient alternative to the old mule track with over 2000 stone steps is the cable car from Ponte di Piero.
Did you know that Leonardo da Vinci’s world-famous Mona Lisa remained hidden for two years in the Veddasca Valley, specifically in the village of Cadero con Graglio. In the summer of 1911, Vincenzo Peruggia from Dumenza committed the most sensational art theft in history. He stole the Mona Lisa from the Louvre and hid the painting in a small cave underneath a carpet in the inn of the Lancelotti brothers, friends and accomplices of Peruggia. The Mona Lisa remained missing until the day an art dealer in Florence received a letter from Peruggia in the winter of 1913. In the letter, he wanted to return the Mona Lisa and demanded 500,000 lire in return. Alfredo Geri, however, informed the police and Peruggia was arrested.
In the meantime, you can admire the Mona Lisa’s smile in our cosy bar at the Lagocamp campsite. The painting is an original and contemporary interpretation of the original, as the Italian artist LADY BE creates her paintings exclusively with recycled materials.