The initiatives designed to celebrate the Alpine railway that has been connecting Italy and Switzerland every day for 100 years were presented in Santa Maria Maggiore. The '4 Seasons Train' was also inaugurated.
Two years to celebrate 100: a journey, that of the Vigezzina-Centovalli Railway, which began on 25 November 1923, thanks to a common cross-border vision, as strong then as it is today.
Two years, from 25 November 2022 to the same day in 2024, to celebrate this important anniversary, with events, conventions, exhibitions, concerts and publications, a very rich calendar created thanks to a synergy between SSIF and the Unione Montana della Valle Vigezzo, as well as other local bodies, foundations and associations, and with the financial contribution received within the Interreg PAES.CH.IT project.
The Unione Montana delle Valle Vigezzo (Vigezzo Valley Mountain Union), in particular, immediately recognised this centenary as an important anniversary for the entire territory, to the point of capitalising on the aforementioned Interreg for this event, bringing the Vigezzina-Centovalli Railway into the project partnership.
THE HISTORY OF THE VIGEZZINA-CENTOVALLI RAILWAY
The industrial ferment of the early 1900s inspired the then Mayor of Locarno Francesco Balli, who expressed the desire to create a new line linking Locarno with Domodossola, crossing the Centovalli and the Vigezzo Valley. The ultimate goal was to create a connection with the already existing major railway works, the Gotthard and Simplon lines.
The idea infected the mayors of the Vigezzo Valley, and an Italian-Swiss executive committee was formed, which led to an agreement for a unified project, thanks to the tenacity and union of forces between the Locarnese and Vigezzo communities. The pioneers of this dream were first and foremost Andrea Testore, a fervent supporter of the realisation of the railway in the Vigezzo Valley, together with the aforementioned Francesco Balli, and, on the Italian side, the Hon. Alfredo Falcioni and the real architect of the project, Giacomo Sutter. Thanks to their generous efforts, political, technical and financial difficulties were overcome, turning a dream into reality. The railway was inaugurated on 25 November 1923. The narrow-gauge line is still a masterpiece of civil engineering and dialogues in harmony with the enchanting nature of the valleys it passes through.
The festivities on the Swiss side will officially start on 25 November 2023 with a twelve-month journey!
A large exhibition dedicated to 20th century Vigezzo painting will be hosted in Santa Maria Maggiore next spring!
During the coming winter, Santa Maria Maggiore will host a special exhibition dedicated to the theme of travel!
The small Cà di Feman museum in Villette will host an unprecedented themed exhibition in spring 2023!
The music of the 20th century will be a valuable thread from spring to autumn 2023 and beyond!
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: two special exhibitions will be staged in Val Vigezzo in spring 2023 and summer 2024!
In spring next year, the Vigezzo Valley will host an international meeting organised by IABMAS!
Between Domodossola, Masera, Trontano and the villages of the Vigezzo Valley, a food and wine trail will unravel in summer 2024!
Many other events will dialogue with the railway line's birthday!