The history of Santa Maria Maggiore

Santa Maria Maggiore and its two hamlets – Crana and Buttogno – developed separately in the course of the centuries and in 1928 they joined together to form the present municipality.


The real growth of Santa Maria Maggiore started approximately in the 1960s, when several measures were taken in Valle Vigezzo to exploit its great possibilities in order to become a popular tourist destination. Different buildings and facilities for tourists began to be built in those years.

All the villages of the valley were involved in this development and since then Santa Maria Maggiore has greatly improved. Since the beginning of this new millennium, it has become a modern town and the centre of the whole Valle Vigezzo. Santa Maria Maggiore provides a great variety of tourist services and facilities: volleyball and tennis courts, a riding-school, a campsite, a cross-country ski centre, landing area for helicopters, paragliders and hang-gliders, a cinema-theatre, museums. It is the seat of CAI Vigezzo, Sci Club Vigezzo, Fondazione Gennari and ASL (local health district).

In 2000 new car parking and garages were built in the area of Piazza Mercato. Centro Culturale Vecchio Municipio was restored in 2004, while Museo dello Spazzacamino was renovated in 2005. The cinema-theatre was modernized, too. A wide golf course was completed in the area of Pineta, as well as the new Praudina Adventure Park.
However the development of Santa Maria Maggiore as an important tourist resort has not finished yet: other projects will be completed in next years, as for example Casa del Profumo, a new exhibition centre that is going to celebrate the famous Eau de Cologne, invented by two emigrants from Valle Vigezzo.


In the old town centre there are restaurants, cafés, hotels, elegant boutiques, shops of local wine and food products, jeweller’s shops, and a lot of other commercial activities.
In 2000 the so-called “Pineta” was modernized with different facilities :a miniature golf course, tennis courts, an outdoor swimming-pool, a golf course and a picnic area with barbecue.