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Photographer's Note

A break from my travelogue in Austria and Germany.

''Taken on a cold day (15 degrees)for the period in Cannobio a small town on the upper part of the Piedmont side of Lake Maggiore.


''The local inhabitants probably became subject to Roman rule by the time of the emperor Augustus. Sarcophagi from the 2nd-3rd century CE have been found and conserved in the "Palazzo della Ragione".

The first documented mention of Cannobio dates to 909. During medieval times, the town became a center for wool and tanning industries, as well as the lumber trade. Cannobio was named as a village by 1207, and was granted administrative autonomy. The Palazzo della Ragione was constructed by 1291 under the government of the podestà Ugolino da Mandello.

Cannobio was assigned to the archdiocese of Milan and from 1817 was under the authority of the bishop of Novara. Its "pieve" comprised the areas of Cannobina, Cannero, Brissago and several areas on the eastern side of the lake. The church of St. Vittore, already present in 1076, and with a bell tower from the 13th century, was completely rebuilt between 1733 and 1749. Autonomous rule for the community of Cannobio and its valley came about in 1342, with the spontaneous submission to Luchino and Giovanni Visconti, lords of Milan. From then on, its administration remained closely connected to that of the Duchy of Milan.

In 1522 a painting of the Virgin Mary allegedly started bleeding. Shortly after this apparition, a plague swept through the area devastating lakeside and valley towns and villages, but leaving Cannobio relatively unscathed. Religious minds linked these two events and Cardinal Charles Borromeo ordered a chapel to be built to hold the painting which is still there today.

The economy went through a renewal in the 15th and 16th centuries. The built-up area spread from the original nucleus (the village) down towards the lake. Large residences were built including the Omacini and Pironi palaces.

During the Risorgimento the town repelled an Austrian attack from the lake (27-28 May 1859) and was visited by Giuseppe Garibaldi in 1862. The opening of the lakeside road to the Swiss border in 1863 created favorable conditions for the arrival of factories, including silk mills.

In 1927 the territory of the comune of Cannobio was extended to incorporate some small villages in the vicinity (Traffiume, Sant’Agata, San Bartolomeo). During the Second World War the people of Cannobio rose up against the Nazi and fascist regime, from 2 to 9 September 1944, and proclaimed the Republic of the Ossola. Since the end of the war the community has undergone further changes. From 1995 the town has come within the Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola.''

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Additional Photos by ALESSANDRO MACCHI (SWEETFREEDOM) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1587 W: 0 N: 3172] (24623)
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