The dam at Lago di Morasco

Way up north in Italy, almost on the suisse border there is a valley called the Formazza Valley in which you find the famous water fall, called the Toce Falls. If you go past the falls and continues up the mountain road, you com to a beautiful situated man-made mountain lake, surrounded by green hillsides and a dam, in one end, to hold the water.

Lago di Morasco shore

As stated the lake is situated in the Formazza Valley, which is almost on the suisse border, in the region Piemonte, which is in the north-west part of Italy. There is only one single road leading to the Valley, and that is from the italian side. It is a bit of a ride to go there, but if you for instance stay around Lago Maggiore, it is excellent for a day trip, and then you can include a stop at the spectacularly Toce Falls, which is literally on the way. (Read more about Toce Falls here).

We – that is my wife, two of my kids and I – stayed the summer at the border of Lago Maggiore, and kind of found the lake by coincidence, on our day trip to the Toce Falls.

The green hill sides surrounding the lake

At the top of the falls, where there is a big parking lot, the road makes a 90 degree turn and becomes narrow, making you unsure of it is a road to go by by car – it is and we did. It is a fantastic landscape. The road winds through a green not very steep terrain for about 3.5 kilometers where it ends near to the lake. 

You can also leave the car at the parking lot at the falls, and hike to the lake. Arrived at the lake you can hike all the way around it, which does take some time especially if you bring kids, as there are many water streams to play with, many rocks to throw in the lake, many hills to climb and if you are lucky you might even meet a cow. There is a herd of cows wandering around in the area.

One of many streams at the lake

If you do not have time or for any other reasons can not make it around the lake, you should at least take a walk out on the 525 meter long Morasco dam, which rises 55 meter and holds back the water from the river Toce. 

 Actually it is the water from this lake that runs in the Toce falls, further down the Valley, meaning the water fall only “works” when the locks in the dam opens, and that is only during a period in the summer, because the water is now used to produce power. 

 If you go I will recommend a day without rain as there is not much shelter in the whole area. Also I will recommend you to be prepared to spent a long time – it is beautiful and exciting for the whole family.

A cow at the Lago di Morasco

FACTS ABOUT LAGO DI MORASCO It is man-made for producing power. The dam is 525 meter long and 55 meters tall. The lake is elevated 1.815 m above sea height.