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Valle dei Pinocchi: a lifetime of traditions

Valle dei Pinocchi’s curiosities and traditions

141 years after Pinocchio’s first public appearance, we get to explore the enchanted sites of Valle Strona, the valley dedicated to the legendary marionette, fruit of Collodi’s brilliance.

Why is Valle Strona also called Valle dei Pinocchi?

Once upon a time there was the Valle Strona, a place of lifelong traditions and customs. Located in the province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, it is also known as the Valle dei Pinocchi (Pinocchio Valley). But how did it get its legendary name? On 7 July 1881, the first episodes of Carlo Collodi’s masterpiece came out, published in a number of parts in the “Giornale per i bambini,” a weekly children’s magazine.
Immediately the marionette entered the hearts of readers, generating, many years later, numerous film adaptations, but not only. A variety of versions of Pinocchio appeared in the form of toys or souvenirs. Even in Valle Strona, small artisan wood crafting workshops dedicated to the character emerged.
Models of all shapes and sizes are still being made today, to the delight of fans. Hence, the name “Pinocchio Valley,” which is also a popular destination for hiking.

Getting to Valle Strona: a trail in Nature

Hiking enthusiasts have all experienced it; walking in Nature, away from technology and city chaos, sharpens all our senses. To walk through the Valle dei Pinocchi, you set out in Omegna, and following the course of the Strona stream, where you’ll be completely bewitched by the sounds of Nature.
The sounds of water flowing, insects buzzing and voices coming from the homes. The scenic lookouts along the way provide a wonderful treat for your eyes and you’ll get the chance to fill your lungs with clean mountain air.
The Valle Strona is dotted with small mountain villages and hamlets, including Piana di Fornero. It is exactly here that the Maestro Geppetto of our century, Giuseppe Piana, hides. His workshop crafts every shape and model of Pinocchio, from small key chains to giant reproductions. Each and every detail is carved by hand – a masterpiece of craftsmanship.

Campello Monti, the final stop in the Valle di Pinocchio

The trail’s final stop in the Valle Strona is Campello Monti, a small Walser village located 1305 meters above sea level. A quiet spot that comes back to life only in the summer, when locals from the area return for a brief spell away from bustle of city life.
The pastel-toned homes are a special characteristic of this site. You can also enjoy the Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista, a structure dating back to 1790.
Looking for a little something more challenging? More experienced hikers can continue on to the summit of Monte Capezzone at more than 2,000 meters. Here springs the Strona stream and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with a spectacular view.

You can further discover the jewels of our territory with one of the many other trails, either on foot or by bike.