When discovering the Ossola Valley, visitors should not overlook the “stone cathedrals”, the hydroelectric plants built at the start of the 20th century in one of the most important water catchment areas in Italy.
Power stations and dams have become a major tourist attraction over the years. The latest example of these gigantic marvels of human ingenuity, which received worldwide media coverage, is in Antrona Valley. On the vast walls of the Cingino dam, “acrobatic ibex” climb up almost vertical faces to eat saltpetre, creating a natural spectacle that is unique in the world.
The impressive shapes of the dams located in many Ossola valleys perfectly match the splendid hydroelectric plants at the bottom of the valley, many of which were created by ingenious architect Piero Portaluppi, who also designed the famous Albergo della Cascata del Toce in the Ossola Valley and the surreal Wagristoratore near Passo San Giacomo, in Alta Valle Formazza.