CoEur devotional path

CoEur is a Christian devotional and hiking route in Italy and Switzerland.[1] Its Italian subtitle, Nel cuore dei cammini d'Europa, translates as "In the heart of Europe's paths".

History of the routeEdit

The path CoEUR was created in the late 1990s, when information about Saint Charles Borromeo's trips in the northern Piedmont was discovered, leading to the initiation of the Path of Saint Charles (Cammino di San Carlo) between Arona, the town where the Archbishop was born, and Viverone, the town where the Via Francigena passes through the province of Biella.

This track has been used as a starting point for the CoEUR path, which links all the devotional places along Lake Maggiore up to Locarno. In its ideal prosecution, the path reaches Einsiedeln abbey connecting the Via Francigena with the Camino de Santiago in its Swiss section, named Via Jacobi.[2]

This combination of paths creates a connection between two sanctuaries consecrated to the black Madonna: Oropa and Einsiedeln.

Sectors of the routeEdit

Path of Saint CharlesEdit

This path follows routes made by Saint Charles Borromeo during his many pilgrimages through Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta, the Sesia valley, the Biellese territory and Canavese.

Twelve stages connect Arona with the Via Francigena in Viverone, passing by three Sacri Monti and many sanctuaries of the Verbano, Cusio and Biellese territories.

Via delle GentiEdit

This route starts in Arona, runs along Lake Maggiore as far as Brissago, Locarno, and Bellinzona, and continues towards the Gotthard Pass, that connects the southern Swiss cantons (Valais and Ticino) with the central cantons of (Uri and Graubünden).

Via SpiritualitàEdit

This path connects Domodossola and Baceno with the Swiss town Ernen along ancient mule tracks.

From Domodossola the way goes along the Toce river through the Antigorio valley, as far as the Arbola Pass, connecting Italy and Valais, and afterwards ends up in Ernen.

From Domodossola the way continues towards Verbania and the main path of CoEUR passing through Ornavasso, with its cycle paths.

Via del MercatoEdit

This historic way starts in Domodossola and goes through the Valle Vigezzo and the Centovalli as far as Locarno.[3] The track uses trails and mule tracks of the ancient Via del Mercato, the way on which merchants from Italy and Switzerland transported goods. In the early 20th century the Centovalli railway was built in order to develop commerce and nowadays it is a major tourist attraction.

This path includes the Santuario della Madonna del Sangue in Re, a destination of many pilgrimages from the neighbourhood, halfway between the Ossola valley and Lake Maggiore.

The ring of Saint CharlesEdit

In the Cannobio valley there is a network of paths connecting the numerous villages in the valley associated with Charles Borromeo's visits to the Pieve of Cannobio.[4]

The witches of CroveoEdit

The area between Baceno and Croveo is historically connected with witchcraft trials, attested by many plaques explaining legends, popular beliefs and historic proof of the many witchcraft trials that occurred in this area in past centuries.

The UNESCO sitesEdit

The CoEUR path connects nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Two in Switzerland:

Seven in Italy:

Natural reservesEdit

Along the way there are many nature parks and natural reserves.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Project Interreg CoEur". Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Report of the project CoEur". Archived from the original on 17 June 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Via del Mercato". Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Ring of Saint Charles". Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  5. ^ "The Locarnese national Park project". Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Riserva forestale di Palagnedra". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Sacred wood of Mergugno". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.

External linksEdit