Illustrations made with a digital pen and printed in high definition on cotton paper to immortalize views, architectures, profiles, symbols of the territory: Vco above all, but also Novarese, Varesotto, Valsesia and Switzerland. The undisputed protagonist is Ossola among peaks, parks, the Toce waterfall, shelters, typical costumes. However, «Itinerarirum» is a multi-faceted project: hiking itineraries between Ossola and Val Grande, but also art and dissemination of videos with anecdotes of history and curiosities. All on the web portal www.itinerarium.it, born in 2020 in full pandemic and in continuous growth of contents, as well as the Instagram pages, Facebook and the YouTube channel. Behind the keyboard and digital pen are Francesca Garagnani architect, 35 years old from Invorio but who lives in Carpugnino, and Alan Piralla, 42-year-old computer engineer, also originally from Invorio, but now lives and works in Switzerland and returns to Italy on weekends.
«We have been walking for years and the main destinations have always been Devero, Alpe Veglia and Formazza. We recorded traces of the itineraries, but without the idea of a project, which instead matured in 2020 in the first lockdown – explains Piralla -. Attending Ossola and Val Grande has pushed us to want to tell this territory not only with technical indications of departures and arrivals but with anecdotes, history and traditions ».
“Strong signs of culture”
For heights and difficulties there are guides, while Garagnani and Piralla wanted to deepen stories and folklore for an “active discovery of a territory whose past has not left iconic signs but a strong culture and a great landscape richness” says Garagnani. Rural buildings, churches, dry stone walls, terraces, dams and hydroelectric plants but also glaciers, waterfalls, lakes. «They are breathtaking views as in an immense widespread museum – continues Garagnani -. Itinerarium is to get to know it and experience it slowly, on foot or by bicycle along paths where cars cannot reach ».
The name of the project recalls the Latin and indicates «not only departures and arrivals, but above all what you find along the way – says the architect passionate about graphics -. The Romans used the term itinerarium to indicate cities, stopping places, horse exchanges and the relative distances ».
All graphics are hand drawn with a graphic tablet. The most artistic aspect of the project are in fact the illustrations, made digitally but by hand and printed with the fine art technique at high resolution on quality cotton paper (which respects the museum conservation requirements) by the Opificio Arte Stampata di Borgomanero.
So far, nine drawings have been created for the series “The Illustrated World of Itinerarium” with naturalistic destinations – including Riale and the Andolla, Maria Luisa and Zamboni Zappa refuges – and four from the series “The women of Ossola” on traditional costumes: la risèla of the Antrona valley, the titsch of the Formazza, the joy of the Strona valley and the tracht of the Anzasca. «These latest illustrations – explains Garagnani – were born from the reading of local history books that prompted us to deepen the role of women when men emigrated. The costume they wore became a symbol of belonging to the community ». For example, “the way the ribbon is worn or the color makes it clear if the woman is married, engaged or in mourning,” says Piralla.