On 16th August, it could be a good idea to make an enjoyable trip to the so-called Boffalora area, in the mountains above Ossuccio, and join the festival that each year takes place here to commemorate Saint Rocco.
This is the perfect occasion to spend a pleasant day in a breath-taking setting. For the locals this is actually an extremely heartfelt religious moment that sees a procession (by car) of loads of people, going from the shores of the lake up to the mountains.
This area of high altitude houses (about 1250 m above sea level) could quite easily be referred to as an addition to the village of Ossuccio. The chalets that form this area mainly belong to the inhabitants of this lakeside village, who move up here during the summer months to enjoy a fresher and pleasant climate. The name itself “Boffalora” clearly refers to the breeze that more often than not blows at this altitude.
The festival itself provides for a religious moment, with the celebration, at 11:00, of the Holy Mass near the chapel dedicated to the saint that was built in 1994 by the Alpines, and a gastronomic moment, where people arrange picnics on the grass or tables on the terraces and inside the many chalets, which are all open for the occasion. There is also a refuge and it is obviously possible to have lunch there as well.
I must say that the feast is rather intimate: everybody knows each other and the atmosphere is the one of a big family party, repeating gestures and traditions that have been handed on over the years.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean that not everybody will be welcomed, quite the opposite! What better occasion to experience a place if not when it comes alive thanks to the people themselves who live it and look after it day after day?
Actually, the festival could also be a good excuse to spend a day in a place of exceptional beauty: all around you only the top of the mountains, the grasslands and the woods, in your ears the unmistakable and relaxing sound of the cowbells of the cattle out to pasture, in your lungs the crisp and clean air.
Moreover, if you enjoy walking, in this area you can only be spoilt for choices! The famous Via dei Monti Lariani (The Lario’s Mountain Way) runs through here: the excursions you can make are quite a few and the best thing to do is to take a whole day to explore this area or, why not, even more days, stopping over in any of the refuges along the way.
To top it all, if you appreciate local products, don’t miss the opportunity to stock up on them! You can find them at the huts of the Alpe of Ossuccio, of Sala or of Lenno (just to mention the nearest ones).
One last bit of information, useful to those of you who want to reach the Boffalora area by car: drive up from Argegno, reach San Fedele and here, before reaching the village’s square, turn right towards Pigra. Just before reaching Pigra, turn left along the road that goes up towards the Alpe of Colonno, and then keep driving as far as Boffalora. Needless to say that these are all mountain roads, narrow and full of sharp U-bends, therefore drive carefully!
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