06Sep

A mountain town full of history

Is that the most beautiful piazza in Italy? Naturally. At least that's what the Einhejim say. But even so, some guests who come across the Piazza del Mercato by chance in the maze of houses in Domodossola. The houses from the 15th century are oblique and asymmetrical, yellow, red or earth-colored. The plaster is peeling off some of the facades.

Not only the market square, but the town itself was discovered by many by chance. Located in the north of Piedmont, not between the vine-covered hills of the Langhe bordering to the south, but in the Ossola valleys, almost still in Switzerland. The Simplon Pass is close by, but only a few leave the trunk road to visit.

What a shame for those who miss so much; on the other hand it is of course lucky because the city is not overcrowded. The place already existed in Roman times, at times it belonged to Austria. Domodossola always played an important role in history, most recently in 1944 when partisans founded the 44-day Repubblica dell'Ossola, a fascism-free zone in which the main features of today's Italian constitution were written.

Excursions to the almost tourist-free valleys in the surrounding area, to the Cascata Toce waterfall and to the Valli Ossolance are also worthwhile - this is the name of the wine region in which excellent plants thrive, including the Nebbiolo. It ripens slowly, but is one of the most expressive red wines in all of Italy.

It gets lively in Domodossola every Saturday on market day. Especially Schwyzerdütsch is heard more and more, the neighbors like to shop here. The exchange rate suits them, as does the large selection of specialties and leather shoes. And of course the unbeatable Italianità while strolling, in the espresso bar or later with an aperitivo in the piazza. Especially since the nice custom here is to serve a platter of cheese, salami and breadsticks with your drink. In addition it can be a Crodino, an alcohol-free herbal aperitif popular throughout Italy that comes from the neighboring town of Crodo.

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