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The largest wilderness area of  Italy is the NATIONAL PARK VAL GRANDE. It’s the perfect place to hike and enjoy the steep deep valleys and most spectacular views.

We went to visit this beautiful park yesterday. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t that good. It was pretty cold and very cloudy. Only after lunch we had a bit of sun. I must admit that I was a bit disappointed about this, but well, it’s so close to home that we will come back this coming summer  for sure!

From the entrance of the park VAL GRANDE it’s only 15 minutes walk to the Rifugio Antonio Fantoli (Alpe Ompio) where you can have a great lunch. Their specialty is polenta, a peasant food made of coarsely of finely ground yellow or white cornmeal. You eat it with different types of meat (which is brought separately for the vegetarians among us). For dessert they always have a few types of home-baked pie. So yummy! I call it typical hiking food as we always eat it when we go hike and it served in all the Rifugi! You can also sleep over if you want to spend more than 1 day in these beautiful surroundings.

From this Rifugio Antonio Fantoli (Alpe Ompio) you can walk to Belvedere in only 15 minutes where you have a stunning view on several lakes: Lake Maggiore (Lago Maggiore), Lake Orta (Lago d’Orta), Lake Mergozzo (Lago di Mergozzo), Lake Varese (Lago di Varese) and Lake Monate (Lago di Monate). It is well-marked so you really can’t miss it! Other views of the mountains and valleys will be posted next time when I actually do a real hiking tour…

Besides all this, the VAL GRANDE also encounters many remaines of the original habitation…

National Park VAL GRANDE (Verbania – Piemonte) is located at 45km from Borgomanero. The starting point is at a 1000 meters (more or less). You don’t have to be an expert or trained hiker, but make sure you wear suitable clothes and shoes and don’t go off the trails!!! For more information, you can visit  or send me an email:

Find out where VAL GRANDE is located:


  1. Those old houses look so cute, I just want to save them all from ruin! Those lake views look great, I look forward to your re-visit to the area on a sunny day, I’m sure it will be even lovelier!

    1. O yes! We will be going back this summer..and I will post about it obviously 😉
      About the old houses, if you are able to find out who’s the owner you can buy it and fix it. A friend did this. The thing is that it’s extremely difficult to find out who’s the owner… 🙁

  2. I love the scenery, it’s so incredibly European 🙂 Frm the brook running past the tree and the rolling misty mountains, to the wholesome fare on the tables. Looks like a incredible day with nature…

  3. This park looks like an awesome place to visit. I love the stone cottages and the mountain views. It looks like the perfect place to explore on horseback, if allowed.

    1. Thank you so much!! I see that you also write a blog. I will definitely explore yours as well.. May I ask in which city/village you live?? Anyway thank you very much for stopping by and ‘liking’ my posts. I appreciate it a lot!!

    1. Thank you so much! I’m happy that you’ve been on this trip with me through my post! That’s exactly what I wanted 🙂 Thanks for stopping by as well and taking the time to comment. Very much appreciated! 😀 Hope to see you back soon..

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