Val Vogna (the Vogna Valley) is a little valley that can be reached from Riva Valdobbia; nestled between Val d’Otro and Valle Artogna, both of these areas are protected from the extreme upper Valsesia area. It is a corner of paradise to visit, made easier by following the trail that little by little leads to an uncontaminated natural setting, dotted with grouped dwellings that have preserved the peculiar characteristics over the years that distinguish the gradual Walser settlements into the area.
These elegant examples of housing architecture bestow a special atmosphere upon the area with their narrow terracing, picturesque and linear, upon which the Walser constructions stand surrounded by simple perimeters lined with typical open galleries made of dark spruce–fir — these expressions are all exclusive to this area.
Until the 1800s, Val Vogna was a mandatory route for the Valsesian emigrants who travelled to Valle d’Aosta or to Switzerland in search of fortune and work by crossing the Colle Valdobbia pass which marks the border between Valsesia and the Gressoney Valley, and where the historic Ospizio Sottile mountain hut is located.
Favoured destination for easy and scenic excursions, rich of cultural resources, it sets itself apart for the presence of characteristic Walser hamlets and precious chapels spread about the entire trail. Among these is the oratorio di San Grato in the small town of Peccia where the signatures of the soldiers who walked through the valley under Napoleon’s command are still kept safe. Not far from this quaint little town, a narrow Napoleonic bridge emerges; its elegant stone arch erected over the Solivo torrent to permit its crossing. It was built in 1800 to honour the passing through of Napoleon’s troops.
The valley reaches out in two directions: to the right it meets Colle Valdobbia (2480m) and, as mentioned earlier, the Ospizio Sottile hut, while following the flow of the Vogna torrent to the left the valley reaches Alpe Maccagno. And it is in these scenic pastures located above 2200m where Maccagno cheese, sought-after throughout all the valley for its unique and unequalled taste, is produced.