L'Orrido di Sant'Anna

Cannobio / Traffiume / Lago di Maggiore /
Verbano-Cusio-Ossola Province, Piemonte Region, Italy

Rating: 1     Difficulty: 1.5
One of the small cascades by the church at L'Orrido di Sant'Anna

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

L'Orrido di Sant'Anna pertained to the name of a church by the hamlet of Traffiume, which belonged to the larger town of Cannobio. We were also led to believe in the literature (and in our DK guidebook) that this was also a place where it could be a waterfall excursion combined with that historical church from the Middle Ages.

Well, it turned out that the waterfalling aspect of this attraction might be a little far-fetched. We did notice a pair of rather obscure waterfalls on small, temporary tributary streams downstream from the church itself (one of which is shown in the photograph at the top of this page). Other than that, however, we saw a glimpse of a very small cascade further upstream from the medieval bridge adjacent to the church, but the view was overgrown and it the "waterfall" looked more like normal rapids than anything significant. So it could be an instance of inaccurate information being circulated about.

Nonetheless, just by coming here under the pretense of waterfalling, it allowed us to experience perhaps the most charming town on the shores of Lake Maggiore in Cannobio. The town featured a picturesque waterfront as well as a few blocks of attractive cobblestone arcades and the usual clock tower.

As for the waterfall itself, there was a short path that descended from a viewing terrace right in front of the church (chiesa) to the river's banks where we suspected it might be a bit of a place to cool off in the Summer. The bridge spanning the gorge directly below (called the Avostana Bridge) was believed to be built in the 12th century. The historic church probably followed not much longer thereafter. Overall, this walk probably took us about 30 minutes away from the car.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Looking directly at the historic church, the medieval bridge, and the gorge below from the banks of the river at L'Orrido di Sant'AnnaLooking directly at the historic church, the medieval bridge, and the gorge below from the banks of the river at L'Orrido di Sant'Anna
Barely 3km from L'Orrido di Sant'Anna is the charming waterfront town of CannobioBarely 3km from L'Orrido di Sant'Anna is the charming waterfront town of Cannobio
Although L'Orrido di Sant'Anna is on the shores of Lago di Maggiore, not far further east is beautiful and famous Lago di ComoAlthough L'Orrido di Sant'Anna is on the shores of Lago di Maggiore, not far further east is beautiful and famous Lago di Como
L'Orrido di Sant'Anna was our last 'waterfalling' excursion before making it all the way down to Milano to conclude our 2013 Italy tripL'Orrido di Sant'Anna was our last 'waterfalling' excursion before making it all the way down to Milano to conclude our 2013 Italy trip
The church and the narrow road we took to get hereThe church and the narrow road we took to get here

Looking upstream at some very minor cascades on the main stream upstream from the medieval Avostana BridgeLooking upstream at some very minor cascades on the main stream upstream from the medieval Avostana Bridge

Context of the small cascade amidst the thick foliageContext of the small cascade amidst the thick foliage

The walkway descending to the bottom by the shores of the main streamThe walkway descending to the bottom by the shores of the main stream

Looking across at some other obscure waterfall mostly hidden in the thick foliage, but tumbling beneath the narrow road we took to get hereLooking across at some other obscure waterfall mostly hidden in the thick foliage, but tumbling beneath the narrow road we took to get here

Looking downstream from the churchLooking downstream from the church

Looking back across the medieval Avostana Bridge towards the churchLooking back across the medieval Avostana Bridge towards the church

The clock tower in the centro storico of CannobioThe clock tower in the centro storico of Cannobio

Further south of Cannobio is the city of Milan with its impressive DuomoFurther south of Cannobio is the city of Milan with its impressive Duomo


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Sweep following a duck in the calm part of the stream before panning up to the old church above the gorge, then panning over to a rather obscure and mostly hidden waterfall further downstream


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Traffiume and L'Orrido di Sant'Anna was located near the town of Cannobio on the western shores of Lake Maggiore just a few minutes south of the Italian-Swiss border. It took us roughly 30 minutes to drive from Locarno, Switzerland to Cannobio, which itself is just a few kilometers from the Italian-Swiss border.

From Cannobio, look for the SP75 (SP = Strada Provinciale) towards the southern end of town. There was a sign for L'Orrido di Sant'Anna at the turnoff. Then, follow the SP75 inland for about 2.4km (beware of the 40km/h speed limit with speed cameras). At that point, there was a fork in the road where the steep and narrow road on the right leads to the church (though the arrow pointing left was confusing as it could've been understood to pertain to keeping left at this fork instead of going right).

The final 400m was on a practically single-lane road. And since you have the higher ground, you're in a better position to see if someone's coming up from the church. If that's the case, wait where the road is wide enough and let that person pass. Otherwise, you're probably going to have to figure out who must back up on the single-lane road if you meet someone in the middle of it.

Finally, to give you some geographical context, Cannobio was 17km (30 minutes drive) south of Locarno, Switzerland, and 124km (about 2 hours drive) north of Milan (Milano), Italy.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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