Aerial footage of one of Italy's hidden secrets: the Val Formazza valley.
This stunning and pristine spot of Italy is one of the sources of clean hydroelectric power since 1900. Most of the power-plants were built by Ettore Conti, with the supervision of renown architect Piero Portaluppi. Most of them are a work of art and not only they survive, but they still provide plenty of power to the North of Italy.
The Formazza valley's pristine landscape is home to small, adorable and very well kept villages.
The valley is also home to several dams that provide water to the power-plants. Ettore Conti and Piero Portaluppi were also the owner and the architect that preserved Leonardo Da Vinci's garden and vineyard in Milan.
Featured is also the Cascata del Toce, a waterfall on the Toce river. The waterfall is only completely visible in summer months as its waters are used for hydroelectric purposes.
Considered the most majestic and beautiful in the Alps, the Toce Waterfall is the second highest waterfall in Europe with a 143 meter single drop and a 60 meter width.
At the top there is an observation point from where you can admire its full splendor. This wooden support leans out over the fall
Also at the top of the waterfall there is a famous hotel built in 1923 in Deco style by the famous architect Piero Portaluppi. It's still well kept and it can be visited.
The valley is the only Walser colony directly bordering Goms, the original home of the Walser people. The Val Formazza was settled by the German-speaking Walsers in the Middle Ages, evidenced by the local dialect (Walserdeutsch) still sometimes spoken, the style of the houses and many German place names and names of geographical features. The Pomatt was twice settled by the Walsers. After the Battle of Marignano in 1515, the Swiss finally had to cede the valley to the Duchy of Milan.
The romantic valley landscape has been shaped by former glaciers and is rich in natural and dammed mountain lakes as well as waterfalls. The most impressive of these is the Toce Fall in the upper part of the valley, where the waters plunge 143 metres into the depths.
With their sun-browned chalets and storehouses, the hamlets that form the municipality of Formazza are strongly reminiscent of Goms. Ponte (Zumstäg) was the seat of the Walser community in Pomatt until 1837 and is still the valley centre. The valley museum in the Casa Forte is well worth a visit. The village of Riale is in the uppermost part of the valley. Its Walser-German name «Chärbäch», comes from the Toce, the mountain stream that winds at a right angle over the swampy plain («chert»). In winter, Riale is famous for its cross-country ski piste.