Highlights of this trip

  • To spend a day in nature
  • To admire the colors of this corner of the Formazza and Antigorio valley
  • To discover the Bettelmatt, the typical cheese of this area
  • Because it is the completion of the visit after having seen the Toce waterfalls
  • Because other historical mountain treks intertwine from here
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Your must-have travel gadget for this trip

To go home with good memories, the reflex and maybe two lenses: a wide angle and a medium telephoto are essential.

Best things to do in lake of Morasco

A pleasant trek to Lake Morasco, in Piedmont, in search of Bettelmatt

The Bettelmatt of Lake Morasco Lake of Morasco, the dam

An ideal walk in summer when the heat is suffocating, magnificent in autumn for the colors of nature, the one at the dam, or at the Morasco lake is an unmissable event to better enjoy Val Formazza and to know and appreciate Bettelmatt, the cheese local, produced only in seven mountain pastures. We are in Piedmont, at its northernmost point, the one that stretches towards Switzerland.

The Bettelmatt of Lake Morasco Lake of Morasco, the panorama

The lake of Morasco

Lake Morasco is an artificial basin created between 1936 and 1940 to power the Ponte power station. For the construction of the dam, the homonymous village was submerged, which arose here in the 15th century.


The tour of Morasco lake is simple and is suitable for everyone. It does not present difficult stretches, if not a slight climb that from the car park in Riale climbs towards the dam barrier. However, layered clothing and hiking shoes are recommended. We are at a high altitude, over 1730 meters. Upon reaching the dam, the emerald color of the water immediately strikes. From here, keeping the reservoir on the left, you begin to walk up to the footbridge that crosses the lake at the height of the power plant.

The Bettelmatt of Lake Morasco Lago di Morasco, colorful view of the lake and the surrounding mountains

It is a service road used by workers in the winter when the snow makes the journey impracticable. In any case, the gangway is forbidden and closed to tourists. You walk admiring the view, the surrounding mountains, the green of the meadows on the coast and the trees that surround the body of water. After the footbridge, continue until you reach the northernmost part of Lake Morasco, then leave the path taking the road on the left to cross the bridge over the Rio Gries.

We are also at the point where you can stop for a picnic. If you look closely, you will also find some benches. However, a clearing on the lawn is also good for a break. The route is so easy that even those people who tackle the journey by mountain bike cross paths, also coming from other paths.

The return journey begins from the bridge over the Rio Gries. The road climbs slightly up to the power station, after which a pleasant mule track returns. From time to time there are benches. Now the panorama opens up to the mountains on the other side, but its beauty does not change.

The Bettelmatt of Lake Morasco Lago di Morasco, the way back towards the beginning of the route

The path runs along the entire western side of the reservoir. It is continuous ups and downs that stop only at the height of the dam barrier. We are back to square one. We just have to go down to the parking lot passing in front of some mountain pastures that produce Bettelmatt, the typical cheese of the area.

The Bettelmatt

The trip also takes us to the discovery of the production area of ​​this cheese obtained from the milking milk of the Brown Alpine cows that are reared in the area. It is a product with maturation of two months, with a golden or straw yellow paste, which is prepared between June and September. The Bettelmatt is produced in only seven mountain pastures of the Antigorio and Formazza Valley, all situated above 1800 meters. A cheese is already known in the thirteenth century that owes its name to terms of Walser origins or bettel (begging) and matt (pasture), or the "begging pasture" which can be defined as a bargaining chip. This cheese was used as a currency of exchange for goods or of payment.

The recommended period for this trip is between June and October. If the season allows it, even in November you can go as far as the lake. However, it is always better to ask those who live in the area first.

The Bettelmatt of Lake Morasco Lago di Morasco, directions for the route

How do I get to Riale

Riale can be reached from the A26 Genova - Gravellona Toce motorway, then following the SS del Sempione to the exit for Crodo and then following the SS659 to the destination

Where to stay in lake of Morasco?

This is a day trip, you only pay for the parking of the car 4 euros per day

Recommended tours in lake of Morasco

There are no organized tours, just follow the few but precise instructions to avoid making a mistake. Even if you have no sense of direction, it is not difficult to understand that you have to follow the dirt road that surrounds the lake to return to the starting point.

Cycling tips

Where to cycle?

Lake Morasco is located on the Riale-Passo del Gries mountain bike route

Distance and time

You can also go up to Lake Morasco by mountain bike from the Riale car park. It is a nice climb

Can you rent a bike here?


Hiking tips

Where to hike?

The route follows the perimeter of Lake Morasco

Distance and time

The tour of the lake can be done in a couple of hours, taking it slow

How challenging is this hike?

This excursion is not demanding at all, and is suitable for everyone. There are some uphill stretches but they are not insurmountable

Photography tips

Where to photograph?

In every corner of the route it is possible to take memorable photographs

My Camera

Panasonic HZ1000

Is any special equipment needed?

There were no special equipment, in case the tripod to take still pictures

3. Travel Insurance

Why WorldNomads has impressed us so much?

  1. Backed by specialized insurance providers and global assistance partners
  2. You can always buy the insurance online, even if you are already traveling
  3. You can adjust your insurance coverage during the trip and claim online
  4. They cover a range of adventure sports and activities
  5. Very high availability worldwide

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