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As you drive along the lakeside road from Baveno towards Verbania, you can’t miss the delightful little village of Feriolo on the Borromean Gulf, with its row of brightly coloured houses along the shore and boats moored on the lake. The Feriolo lakefront is one of the most picturesque on Lake Maggiore, with its beach, unassuming houses and little balconies. The village is especially atmospheric at night, when the lights are reflected in the water of the lake.

Today Feriolo is an popular visitor centre, especially with campers, but its origins go far back into the past; many archaeological finds from prehistoric times have come to light in the district. The remains of the ancient castle on the promontory just in front of the village testify to the settlement’s strategic importance in the Roman period as a stopover for troops on their way to the Alpine passes. The little oratory of the Virgin of the "Scarpia" is an 18th century building constructed against the rock of the mountainside, and contains an image of the Virgin datable to the 16th century. The fine church of San Carlo is decorated with frescoes, statues and stained glass windows. A curiosity: a mark on the façade of the church records the level reached by the lake in 1868, when the water rose seven metres higher than normal. The perimeter wall of the terrace bears the date commemorating the flood of 1993. Lastly, the episode of the “submerged village” recalls the tragedy occurring in 1897, when during the construction of the new harbour a landslide hit part of the village, which sank into the lake; the remains of the houses that were destroyed can still be seen 18 metres below the lake surface.


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