The cultural traditions of a borderland, unmistakable signs of the Walsers and genuine flavours, the spectacular natural scenery of mountains that have not yet been fully explored: welcome to Formazza, in Formazza Valley!

Formazza (Pomatt in German and Walser dialect) is the most northerly municipality in Piedmont, bordering on the Swiss cantons of Valais and Ticino. It is also the widest municipality in the province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, distributed over numerous hamlets: Antillone, Brendo, Canza, Chiesa, Fondovalle, Foppiano, Frua, Grovella, Ponte, Riale, San Michele, Sotto Frua and Valdo.

It was the first village inhabited by the Walsers south of the alpine range, thus representing the true cradle of these people of German descent. Indeed, the symbols, evidence and memories of this very important page in history are truly everywhere: in the pastures, the medium and high altitude villages, the language and in the local culinary traditions.

The inestimable heritage of these areas is its splendid natural scenery, which can be enjoyed in both the summer and the wintertime. A combination of an unspoilt environment and family-run accommodation facilities make this valley on the border with Switzerland one of the most excellent areas in Ossola for tourism: from hiking to Nordic walking, from snow-shoeing to ski tourism, from cross-country skiing to modern sports like fat biking and heli-skiing. Then there are lots of events, especially related to sports, making Formazza and its valley the ideal destination for outdoor activity enthusiasts.


Yet the culture of these borderlands also attracts those wishing to get to know mountain traditions, often in delightful settings: the most interesting of which is the little Casa Forte in Ponte, preserving the oldest memories of the Formazza Valley as few others do. Not to be missed are the huge hydroelectric power stations, visited by many tourists due to their prestigious designer, the famous architect, Piero Portaluppi.

However, culture also includes culinary specialities and delicacies to be savoured on the tables of mountain huts, farm holiday establishments and restaurants of the valley or bought directly from local producers: honey, cheeses (the best-known is Bettelmatt), salami and cold pork meat and other local products able to satisfy every palate.

Nevertheless, the undisputed symbol of Formazza and the whole valley remains the Toce Waterfall, standard-bearer not only of this valley, but of the whole Ossola Valley. With a height of one hundred and forty three metres, the highest in Europe, fed by the very pure water of three alpine torrents, the Hosand, Gries and Rhoni, which plunge into Lake Maggiore just a few kilometres downstream, the Toce Waterfall is certainly one of the most frequently photographed scenic monuments in the whole alpine range, a truly breathtaking sight!

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