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Ceresole Reale and the Gran Paradiso National Park

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks
John Muir

For those who dream of running away from the city and feel the urgent desire to take a walk surrounded by nature, in the fresh air, a trip to Ceresole Lake is just what they need.

The artificial lake of Ceresole Reale is part of the complex of six dams built in the Orco hydrographic basin (Agnel Lake, Serrù Lake, Ceresole Lake, Teleccio Lake, Valsoera Lake and Eugio Lake) which fuel various hydroelectric power plants.

The town of Ceresole Reale is located just 60 minutes by car from Cascina 6b, in the center of the Orco Valley, a dip surrounded by majestic peaks which reflected their images in the clear waters of the lake. Once you reach the lake and leave your car in the parking, the services offered are many: you can eat a packed lunch in the dining areas with toilets provided by the Municipality of Ceresole Reale or have lunch at the Chalet del Lago enjoying the lake view, where you can taste an excellent polenta with stew and various typical products of Piedmontese cuisine. You can take a long and relaxing panoramic walk along the lake, cross the artificial dam built at the beginning of the twentieth century observing the movement of the 34 million cubic meters of water coming from the Orco River and, for the more adventurous, walk the paths that lead to the surrounding mountains.

The lake tour develops in a loop of about 9 km, starting from the Massimo Mila hiking refuge and arriving at the same refuge. The departure starts from the paved road behind the refuge and heads towards the mountain.

This circular route follows the shores of the lake and enters the conifer woods up to the slopes of the Nel and Levanna glaciers on the border with France. It is a very fascinating route that will allow you, during the warm months, to enjoy multiple environments and panoramas in complete tranquility: the lake, the valley floor, the mountains, the wooded area. During the winter this walk turns into a cross-country track.

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Ceresole Lake also represents a starting point for a further stage a few kilometers away that can be traveled by car up to the Colle del Nivolet, an alpine pass located in the Graian Alps, between the Piedmontese Orco Valley and the Aosta Valley Valsavarenche, within the protected area of the Gran Paradiso National Park, the oldest national park established in Italy in 1922.

The low number of tourists has allowed the place to remain uncontaminated, the crystalline waters of the alpine lakes create a spectacular play of colors, aligning the blue of the waters with the color of the sky.

For the luckiest ones it is possible to spot the typical fauna of the Gran Paradiso Park made up of ibex, chamois, stoats, marmots, various species of amphibians, birds and also admire the majestic circle of the golden eagle and the lammergeier (recently reintroduced by the Park Authority) in the sky.

In short, a destination that is suitable to any type of activity with the same common thread: spending a different day than usual, with eyes full of spectacular images and lungs full of clean air.

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