After a few trips to Italy I've had the chance to paddle some of the fantastic classic white water that the Val Sesia area boasts, but there is one section that is neither considered a classic or a must paddle.
The Middle Sermenza!
It's little brother downstream, the lower Sermenza and gorge is a classic which runs at a variety of levels and delivers for a variety of paddlers abilities, but lets talk about why whats upstream is a seriously underrated section of river for kayaking!
The put-in is higher up the valley down a steep single track road has a perfect car park, and the put in is right there, easy! Walk your boat up to the bridge if you want to paddle a cool S turn style rapid about 100m upstream of the car park.
Now prepare for crystal clear, low volume delights! The section is of a pool drop style with a variety of technical rapids and small drops to keep you interested! Not far from starting there is a boulder choke which at lower levels is often portaged but, medium to high levels you can shoot this on the right. Scout!
All the rapids are easily scouted and relatively easily portaged, there are a few bad spots in these rapids, so make sure you're scouting and setting safety as needed. The run climaxes toward the end with 3 technical rapids. The first being a roller coaster ride with water pushing you right towards a large overhanging boulder and a sticky exit hole. Next up an S shaped rapid with 3 holes, the last being the stickiest! And finally a beautiful tight drop which can dish out some carnage, after this continue on and enjoy the classic slightly easier, lower Sermenza.
This section is honestly one of my favorite in Europe and yet you really don't hear of many people paddling it. It's a solid class 4 run with some rapids at certain levels touching on class 5, so allow 2 - 4 hours depending on your group size.
If you're heading to Italy for your Spring shredding, maybe chuck this fantastic section on your list! Still not sure?