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Val d'Ossola

Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola

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Valle d'Ossola

The Ossola Valley is a hidden gem in the heart of the Italian Alps, a region that offers a variety of natural and cultural attractions that simply cannot be ignored, an extensive valley in the Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola. Comprising of seven main side valleys: Anzasca Valley, Antrona Valley, Bognanco Valley, Divedro Valley, Antigorio Valley, Isorno Valley, and Vigezzo Valley, the Ossola Valley is an ideal place for lovers of nature, outdoor sports, and good food. There are several villages to visit and activities to enjoy on hot summer days and cold winter days, ending the days with the discovery of some of the typical food and wine dishes that characterize this richly varied area.

The "natural" beauty of the Ossola Valley

The Ossola Valley shines with its extraordinary natural beauty. Crossed by the majestic presence of the Toce River, which originates in the upper Formazza Valley and then flows into the picturesque Lake Maggiore, this territory is a true paradise for nature lovers. This is evident from the presence of as many as four nature parks that testify to the importance of environmental conservation and protection.

The Val Grande National Park is one of the jewels of this region. Recognized as the largest wilderness area in the entire Alps, it offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in pristine landscapes and spot a multitude of wild animals, such as ibex, chamois, deer, wolves and golden eagles. The trails that crisscross the park provide authentic hiking experiences and allow you to connect deeply with the surrounding nature.

The Alpe Veglia and Alpe Devero Nature Park is another gem of the Ossola Valley. This regional park encompasses two large alpine basins that provide valuable evidence of the geological history of the region and the entire Alpine arc. Here you can hike enchanting trails, admire flower-filled meadows, alpine lakes and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

The Upper Antrona Valley, with its Nature Park, is a relatively young nature area, established in 2009. Despite the presence of the old abandoned mines and the four hydroelectric power reservoirs, this area remains fascinating and unspoiled, with a wealth of flora and fauna characteristic of the Alps.

Finally, the Sacro Monte Calvario Special Nature Reserve offers a mystical exploration experience. Inside, there is the mountain overlooking Domodossola, the Mattarella Hill, where twelve chapels representing the Stations of the Cross were erected in 1656, as well as three chapels dedicated to the Deposition, the Holy Sepulchre and the Resurrection. In addition to the religious aspect, this place offers a path that winds along the slopes of the mountain to the top, giving magnificent views of the city and surrounding mountains.

The Ossola Valley is a real treasure for nature lovers, with its natural parks that hold breathtaking landscapes, unique flora and fauna. The opportunity to explore these protected areas allows visitors to have an unforgettable experience that brings them closer to the majesty of alpine nature.

Relaxation and wellness: the thermal waters of the Ossola Valley

The Ossola Valley is not only famous for its natural beauty and charming villages, but it also offers an oasis of relaxation and well-being thanks to the presence of thermal waters. These waters, rich in healing and beneficial properties, are a special attraction for those seeking a rejuvenating break and a moment of tranquility.

A must-see place for those wishing to relax is Premia, where the renowned Spa Center is located. This modern and welcoming complex in the Antigorio Valley offers a wide range of spa services, including thermal pools, spa treatments, massages, and spa-specific health and wellness treatments.

Premia's thermal waters are classified as salso-bromo-iodine mineral water, a water with unique properties that promotes circulation and muscle relaxation, as well as offering benefits for the skin, respiratory tract and skeletal system.

But the thermal waters of the Ossola Valley offer more than just a cure for physical ailments. They also provide an oasis of peace and tranquility, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in a relaxing and rejuvenating environment. Modern spa facilities in the area offer a range of services and treatments, from traditional spa cures to holistic therapies and exclusive beauty treatments.

These are a true refuge for those who wish to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life and devote time to their own well-being. In addition to enjoying the beneficial effects of the thermal waters, visitors can immerse themselves in a range of rejuvenating activities, such as yoga, meditation and walks in the valley's unspoiled nature.

Villages in the Ossola Valley: hidden treasures to discover

The Ossola Valley is dotted with a series of charming medieval villages, each with its own unique history and timeless charm. Among the many villages that dot the area, the beating heart of the valley is undoubtedly Domodossola. This charming town is a true cultural and commercial crossroads and the ideal starting point for exploring the beauty of the surrounding region.

Baceno is a picturesque village, known for its imposing parish church and its central square where traditional events are often held. Here you can immerse yourself in the authentic atmosphere of a mountain village and admire the traditional architecture.

Macugnaga, located at the foot of the majestic Monte Rosa, is one of the most admired places in the Ossola Valley. This village of Walser origin enchants visitors with its typical wooden houses, flower-filled balconies and cobblestone streets. Here there is an authentic mountain atmosphere and winter sports on quality ski slopes.

Formazza is another charming village, famous for its Walser architecture and the spectacular Toce Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in Europe. Here it is possible to take pleasant walks among picturesque alpine landscapes and admire traditional culture.

Vogogna is a charming village with an ancient castle that offers superb views of the Toce River. The cobbled streets and charming alleys invite a pleasant stroll, providing an opportunity to discover a unique historical and artistic heritage.

Mergozzo, situated on the shores of its namesake lake, is a charming village with a romantic atmosphere. Its colorful little houses, narrow alleys, and beautiful views of the lake create an idyllic setting for a pleasant stroll and a relaxing break.

However, these are just a few of the magnificent villages in the Ossola Valley. Each village has its own unique features and charm, offering visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the authentic atmosphere of mountain life and discover the cultural and historical richness that characterizes this fascinating region.

Active vacation in the Ossola Valley: nature and hiking

Framed by the beauty of the Alps, the Ossola Valley is a magical destination that captivates lovers of nature and outdoor sports in every season. Spring, with its brilliant colors and the awakening of the mountains from winter hibernation, invites exploration of trails and lush landscapes tinged with life.

In the summer, the Ossola Valley offers a wealth of opportunities for exciting activities such as canyoning, climbing, hiking, trail running, downhill and free flight. The more daring can attempt to climb the walls of Balmalonesca, known today as Balma 1. For water lovers, the Toce River offers rafting and canyoning opportunities, which provide fun and adrenaline.

In autumn, enchantment is bestowed by the foliage phenomenon, which transforms the forests into a mosaic of warm hues and fascinating contrasts. Walking among these breathtaking sceneries is an experience that can even be amplified by boarding the Foliage Train, a must-see offering of the Vigezzina-Centovalli Railway that provides spectacular views and a unique intertwining of nature and train travel.

But it doesn't end there! The Ossola Valley also offers the chance to gather undergrowth treasures, such as mushrooms and chestnuts, which can be sought quietly and with respect for nature, creating a mouth-watering and rewarding adventure.

Outdoor activities in the Ossola Valley are an irresistible draw for lovers of sports and nature adventures. Whether you are an avid hiker or adrenaline-seeking adventurer, or prefer to discover the sights on foot or on a bicycle, this region offers a wide range of trails and paths suitable for every skill level.

An active vacation in the Ossola Valley is an unforgettable experience that allows you to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the wonders of each season. The breathtaking landscapes, engaging activities and unique atmosphere of this alpine region make every hike a special moment. Whether you are looking for a sporting challenge or a scenic walk, the Ossola Valley will amaze you and give you enchanting memories to cherish forever.

Typical food and wine dishes of the Ossola Valley: a bite of tradition

The cuisine of the Ossola Valley is rich in traditional dishes that delight the palates of anyone who ventures there. Among the most popular products are cheeses and cured meats, which embody all the flavor and authenticity of this land.

The local cheeses of the Ossola Valley are true gastronomic treasures. Thanks to the aroma of the herbs from the mountain pastures that the animals feed on throughout the summer, the cheeses take on a unique and unmistakable flavor. One of the most prized is Bettelmatt, an aged cheese produced only in the summer by a few local farmers on the green high-altitude meadows. Its distinctive taste comes from the use of certain herbs that grow exclusively in this area, giving the cheese an irresistible flavor.

Another great cheese of the Ossola Valley is Ossolano, which has developed a long and deep-rooted tradition thanks to a process imported from the Walser culture and known since ancient times. Its importance was so great that, according to some documents, it was used as currency in the year 1000. In 2017, finally, Ossolano was awarded the PDO designation, recognizing its excellence in the dairy scene.

But the Ossola Valley offers much more than fine cheeses. Among the region's best traditional dishes is bollito misto, a succulent dish to be accompanied by a good local red wine. This dish, prepared with various cuts of meat simmered slowly with flavorings and spices, is a perfect combination of tradition, taste and satisfaction.

Gnocchi all'ossolana represent another masterpiece of local cuisine. Made with a mixture of white flour, chestnut flour and pumpkin pulp, these gnocchi have a soft texture and irresistible flavor. The unique combination of local ingredients makes this dish a real treat for the palate.

In short, the typical dishes of the Ossola Valley tell a story of tradition, pride and passion for good food. Fine cheeses, bollito misto, and gnocchi all'ossolana are just a few examples of what this region has to offer in terms of gastronomic experience. To enjoy the cuisine of the Ossola Valley is to immerse oneself in a culture thousands of years old, to discover unique flavors, and to appreciate the authenticity of a culinary tradition that has remained intact over time.

Villages in the Val d'Ossola

Baceno is located in the Antigorio Valley, in a peaceful rural and wooded lan...
Crodo is known for the Crodino and for its mineral waters. One of the ancient...
Vogogna is located a few kilometers from Lake Maggiore. The village is the id...

Sleep, eat, buy in the Val d'Ossola

Chalet La Baita
Located in the charming village of Baceno, Chalet La Baita is a perfect location to stay in touch...
Strada Statale 659 Nr. 41 , Baceno, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola

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