Ponte Brolla - Aurigeno

Description of the itinerary:

The easiest way to access the Valley Maggia today is via the Ponte Brolla Bridge, which can be reached by taking the train from Locarno to Domodossola or by bus but also on foot.
After having visited the gorge at Ponte Brolla (entry at side of restaurant near bridge), proceed in direction of Centovalli towards Tegna. From Tegna one can climb to the Sant'Anna chapel (beautiful views of Locarno, Terre di Pedemonte and Centovalli). This is where the almost flat path enters into the Riei Valley, and if one carries on further one finds a small beautifully constructed stone bridge. Walking along the rising path in northerly direction one reaches the Streccia Pass (627m - with emergency telephone). An excellent hiking path starts from here and leads to the Mocca Valley and then onto Djula and finally to Dunzio - a very beautiful and bright area which lies approx. 500m above sea level. Aurigeno can be reached from here by walking along a main road from approximately 4-5km. The first serpentine curve gives a fabulous view of the lower Maggia Valley, including the Ponte Brolla gorge and the village of Avegno.
If one carries on further to the Forcola of Dunzio (597m), on arrives at the new path called "sentiero dei romani" (the Romans' path). One can enjoy a full view of the lower valley, the wide landscape, the beautiful villages and the tall mountains. The path crosses some very interesting places such as the Madonna del Carmelo Oratory, which is currently being restored. This is the way to Aurigeno, which is divided into 2 parts. Aurigeno is the birthplace of Giovanni Antonio Vanoni (1810-1886), a distinguished and highly regarded painter. Having studied in Italy, the artist was very active in the Maggia Valley. He left behind a great number of portraits and ex voto, as well as countless chapels, murals and church frescos such as the one in Aurigeno.

Requested time: approx. 3 h 30.