Formazza Valley

Formazza, or Pomatt in the Walser language, is the oldest colony founded by these Germanic peoples during their 13th-century migrations beyond the borders of the Canton of Valais, over the Gries Pass. This leap into the past alone gives you an idea of the cultural wealth of this unique valley on the border with Switzerland.
In reality, however, the Formazza Valley contains many other treasures. The majestic peaks are criss-crossed by countless paths that allow even less-experienced walkers to reach high altitudes, opening up spectacular views. In winter, the mountains change their clothes and become white frames for a thousand outdoor activities: Nordic skiing (the Formazza Valley is a real paradise for this discipline, with more than 30 kilometres (18 1/2 miles) of slopes distributed between the rings of San Michele and Riale), alpine skiing, snow shoeing, ski mountaineering, fat biking and many more.

In the Formazza Valley, you can experience first-hand the great Walser heritage: in the houses of its small hamlets, in the towns, in the surviving traditions, in artefacts and in the typical local cuisine. A deep wedge in the heart of the Lepontine Alps, the undisputed symbol of which is the majestic Toce Waterfall, which at a spectacular 143 metres (469 ft) high is the most powerful waterfall in Europe.

The crucial position of the Formazza Valley has always connected it, via a range of communication routes through Switzerland, with northern Europe. Today the Formazza Valley looks like a purely tourist high mountain valley: in the wonderful wooden and stone villages dotted across the region there are hotels, refuges and typical restaurants, forming a widespread and welcoming network of accommodation.

A must in the Formazza Valley is a taste of the renowned Bettelmatt, an excellent cheese produced in only seven mountain pastures (five in this valley and two in the neighbouring Antigorio Valley) and characterised by a unique scent and taste: one of the most appreciated typical products of the entire Ossola Valley and certainly the flagship of the delicacies of these Alpine valleys.

A land of imposing dams, which characterise the entire Formazza region, which become unmissable excursion and tourist destinations. A border land, which smells of unspoilt nature and authentic rural traditions. A land to discover through a holiday on a human scale, in every season of the year: welcome to the Formazza Valley!

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