From 10 January the promotion for a trip into the heart of winter kicks off: until the end of February with the promotion 'Winter for 2' you travel every day in two paying only one ticket. Along the way, wellness spa experiences, outdoor activities in the snow, romantic villages and unmissable exhibitions await you.
Winter sunsets, as we know, can offer views of rare charm: admiring them as a couple on board a panoramic train can turn into a magical experience, which becomes unmissable if you can travel in two paying only one ticket.
From 10 January, the Vigezzina-Centovalli Railway will be offering a new offer designed to introduce the general public to one of the times of the year when the Italo-Swiss line can display enchanting landscapes.
While waiting for the snowflakes, in fact, the white and blue convoys are already travelling along a mid-mountain route where, favoured by the wintry look of the vegetation, the gaze opens out towards the peaks of Val Vigezzo and the historic villages nestling between Italy and Switzerland. In its centenary year, the Vigezzina-Centovalli Railway is thus offering an unprecedented and particularly advantageous promotion: all those who purchase two tickets for the Domodossola-Locarno or Locarno-Domodossola route (valid for one or two days, with the possibility of an intermediate stop) will pay half price.
Domodossola and Locarno, deserve a thorough visit, even on short winter days. The Ossola capital has just renovated a new portion of its historic centre, extending the area closed to vehicular traffic: from Piazza Mercato, the beating heart of the city, with a beautiful walk among historic buildings and characteristic alleys, it is possible to reach the renovated and pedestrianised Via Rosmini and from here walk towards the Unesco site of Sacro Monte Calvario, now connected to the ancient centre of Domodossola. Culture is the protagonist at the splendid rooms of the Civic Museums of Palazzo San Francesco and at Collegio Rosmini, where the exhibition "Seitzinger alchemica" is on until 5 February.
Locarno presents itself to the traveller with a dual soul: romantic, thanks to its view of the Ticino side of Lake Maggiore, to be admired while strolling along the elegant lakeside promenade dotted with the extraordinary blossoming of winter camellias, but also intimate and historical, in the alleys of the oldest part of the town, in the spectacular Piazza Grande - one of the most beautiful in the whole of Canton Ticino - or in the Castello Visconteo.
Another destination not to be missed is the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sasso, in a panoramic position with a superlative view of Lake Maggiore, which can be reached on foot or via the characteristic funicular railway (a short walk from the railway station). For those in search of wellness and relaxation, the place to go is "Termali Salini & Spa", a paradise with hot thermal waters: an elegant two-storey design path with natural saline waters at 40°, Turkish bath, sauna, jets and waterfalls for regenerating moments with a view of the lake.
The Vigezzo Valley
The Vigezzo Valley is home to winter sports, thanks to the Piana di Vigezzo ski resort, at an altitude of 1700 metres. Thanks to a recent agreement, travellers on the Ferrovia Vigezzina-Centovalli (Vigezzina-Centovalli railway) can enjoy particularly advantageous discounts for venturing onto the Vigezzo slopes (and vice versa, skiers can take advantage of promotions for boarding the little trains). At high altitude, however, one arrives not only for skiing: snowshoes on one's feet, there are numerous routes suitable for hikers, even those who are not too expert, and the Saturday at the Piana initiative combines tasty food and wine proposals with magical night-time excursions.
The main centre of the valley of painters, the village of Santa Maria Maggiore, welcomes the visitor with a truly unique museum, the Feminis-Farina Perfume House (open every weekend), which tells the all-Italian story of one of the oldest and most famous perfumes in the world, Eau de Cologne, born here thanks to the enterprise of two emigrants from Vigezzo. Santa Maria Maggiore also hosts in the rooms of the Old Town Hall, every Saturday and Sunday until 19 February, the original exhibition Bestiality - Serious and Facetious Approaches to the "other" mountain animals. Some operators in the village (B&Bs and restaurants) propose special offers that can be viewed at www.santamariamaggiore.info.
For lovers of slow outdoor activities, the Vigezzo Valley offers a footpath of almost 15 km immersed in a pine forest of spruce trees, which can also be covered with snowshoes: the main access is a stone's throw from the centre of Santa Maria Maggiore, where narrow skiers can also find the slopes of the Centro del Fondo.
Crossing the border, the modern cable car departs from Orselina (connected to Locarno by funicular) to the 1,300-metre-plus Cardada, where special evening moonlight excursions are offered until February.
The ingredients to enrich a trip that is already full of wonder are all there: so why not take advantage of the offer of the Vigezzina-Centovalli Railway? Until the end of February, with the "Winter for 2" promotion, two people can travel every day for just one ticket.