The origins of the town's name is uncertain: for some historians it results from the German "Land" (land), for others, "Olen", (oleare). Municipality in the province of Vercelli, it is composed of a large number of villages situated in a valley surrounded by pine trees at the foot of Monte Rosa. It represents the main center of Valsesia and features traditional Walser buildings with modern architectural elements. The Walser houses are wooden buildings with basements and roofs covered with stone slab, tiles of gray stone. Alagna Valsesia is a Winter sport resort with skiing and historical hospitality facilities, a great starting point for trekking between the countryside towards the peak of Indren at 3260 meters in the heart of Monte Rosa area, from where it is possible to enjoy summer skiing, the refuge Gnifetti , at 3647 meters, and the shelter of Regina Margherita, the highest in Europe at 4559 meters.
The town was founded in the XIII century by a group Walser from Switzerland, traces of their presence remain in the buildings, the customs and the language. At the beginning the town was united to Riva Valdobbia, but in 1475 they became two separate realities. Towards the end of the XVI century under the rule of the Scarognini of Varallo, the inhabitants started extracting gold, silver and copper in the nearby mines, attracting workers from the surrounding areas. The Walser, in this way, not isolated anymore, suffered to preserve their cultural identity intact until the mid-XVI century. In 1842 the town became an important base for the professional experts, interested in climbing Monte Rosa.
Not to miss:
- the Parish of St. John the Baptist, dates back to the XVI century and presents great frescoes on the façade, artwork of the Avandia, brothers, a fine Gothic doorway and a high Bell tower. The interior features one major nave and two aisles supported by columns of black granite. Inside it preserves a XVII century altarpiece and a side altar of the late XVII century.
- the Castle, an historic building located in Pedelegno, probably of XV century origins.
- the Walser Museum in the hamlet of Pedemonte. A wooden house of the XVII century with a permanent exhibition of tools and traditional furniture.
- the Theater Union Alagnese preserves masterpieces of the Valsesian artist Camillo Verna.
- the historic Hotel Monte Rosa Guglielmina, dating back to 1865.
- the Steiner House, located at the entrance of the village, encompassing the remains of a castle.
- the Natural Park Alta Valsesia.