February 22nd 2013






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Ascona - Santa Maria Maggiore

32 km

N 46񵕏0    E 0083842



detailed pass road map  detailed pass road map

picture collection  picture collection


Googlemaps pass road map  Google Maps map

Panorama Centovalli

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Centovalli is Italian and means "Valley of the hundred valleys", derived from the words "Cento" equal Hundred and "Valli" equal valleys. Centovalli connects east to west Locarno and Lake Maggiore with Domodossola in the Vall d'Ossola and does allow a very short and direct  access to the Simplon Pass and thus over to Canton Valais in Switzerland. On the panorama picture we are coming from Switzerland, out of the canton of Tessin (ital.Ticino) and ride over to Italy's county Piedmont. The border post is located in middle of the Centovalli.

If you ride up from Locarno you always need to follow the sign "Centovalli" and "Vallemaggia". The road is tormented through the old and narrow streets of Solduno and follows the small river Maggia east. In Ponte Brolla the road then turns left into the Centovalli at a railway crossing. If you go straight at this junction, you will end up in the Valle Maggia, which is also worth a visit. Right hand at this junction you will find a guest house, where motorbikers are very  welcome. You can park the bike directly in front of the sun terrace and enjoy the busy life, while enjoying a plate of delicious Italian pasta.

From here on, the route then passes through several small villages and leads from now on closer around the pinnacles to the west. Caution is required, as especially the Italians repeatedly cut the curves. We ride on the northern edge of the valley to the east, where you will have to your left the magnificent view down into the Centovalli, accompanied by the little railway.

After about 18km, after you have left Locarno, you will reach a bridge in the middle of nowhere and the Italian border station. On the Italian side, the road is even narrower, until we reach after about 6km the holy Marian shrine in a small village named Re. A powerful church overlooks the town and the place is usually crowded with pilgrims. Leaving Re the road towards Domodossola becomes substantially better, since it has to carry the pilgrim buses of the Italians. After another 4km the small town Malesco is reached.

Shortly after entering the village, after crossing the Centovalli railway, the road turns right over to Santa Maria Maggiore, Domodossola and from there across the Simplon pass. If you take a left here, it will lead you back through the Valle Cannobina down to Cannobio and the Lago Maggiore.

Recommended regional links about Centovalli