Those who love wild nature, beautiful landscapes with houses overlooking the lake or the sea and appreciate travel by train to discover unspoiled places cannot fail to take a ride on the so-called Trenino delle Centovalli , also known as Vigezzina-Centovalli Railway or Red Train of Val Vigezzo .
Inaugurated in 1923, the Trenino delle Centovalli provides a very long route that leads from the municipality of Domodossola to the Swiss town of Locarno, traveling on narrow gauge tracks.
Those who travel on this particular train cannot help but admire streams, rivers, romantic chestnut woods, vineyards, very high bridges, villages perched on the slopes and so on and so forth. The Trenino delle Centovalli provides a 52-kilometer route to discover Vigezzo and the Canton of Ticino, also traveling at a dizzying height of 800 meters.
The city of departure, or Domodossola , is a truly characteristic city with an ancient market square, a medieval historic center and houses made entirely of very characteristic stone.
During this first part of the route it will be possible to admire glimpses of the rural life of the place, as well as spectacular views of the mountains. It is a unique opportunity thanks to which it is possible to observe the different villages from the window: Santa Maria Maggiore with the characteristic mother church of the whole valley dedicated to the Virgin Mary, but also with an interesting small Museum of the Chimney Sweep, and Re with the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sangue.
The Vigezzo Valley is well known to most as a valley of painters and chimney sweeps, and leads into the encased Centovalli where the river flows through deep gorges. As for the Swiss city of Locarno , we can say that it is located on Lake Maggiore where you can spend your time taking long walks along the lakefront and, in the background, the famous Piazza Grande which in August is filled with tourists for the renowned international film festival, capable of attracting a large number of fans and non-fans.
The town of Locarno also has a historic center with narrow streets and characteristic alleys, a very particular Rococo-style church dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin and finally a Visconti castle which has a museum dedicated to archeology inside.
There are 32 stops in all, on a really pleasant two-hour journey . Each season is perfect for this small and memorable journey and each of them offers a truly enchanting show of colors.