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il lago d'orta, the most romantic of italian lakes il più romantico dei laghi italiani


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dot_b.gif (48 byte) history
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dot_b.gif (48 byte) fond. calderara
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dot_b.gif (48 byte) wine's places
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dot_b.gif (48 byte) to cross the lake
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arrow_1.gif (211 byte) words from orta
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point_g.gif (863 byte) Cooking Classes on the lake
point_g.gif (863 byte) Updated the photo gallery! Click here
point_g.gif (863 byte) A spectacular room for your holidays selected for you!

point_g.gif (863 byte)  Abandoned places around lake Orta

Brief portrait:
The area around Lake Orta has long been a favorite tourists, thanks to the quiet beauty of the landscape, its fascinating history and its wealth of artistic treasures - principally Romanesque and Baroque architecture.

Lake Orta lies to the west of Lake Maggiore, in the northern Italy. It is a minor star in the costellation of the subalpine lakes, but all the fascination and the history of the larger lakes seem to be concentrated in this short space.

From The Independent: Lake Orta, one of the smallest and least-known of northern Italy's sub-Alpine lakes, is a place for sublime moments. The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who visited the lake in May 1882 and believed that the experience changed his life forever, inscribed the date "von Orta an" ("from Orta onwards") as a preface to his masterpiece Thus Spake Zarathustra. Other 19th-century writers enchanted by its quiet beauty include the French novelist Honoré de Balzac, who wrote rapturously of this "grey pearl in a green jewel-box", and Robert Browning. His poem "By the Fireside", which contemplates the beauty of a setting where "Alp meets heaven in snow", describes the lakeside village of Pella as a luminous "speck of white... in the evening-glow".

Orta's weather


The famous italian writer, Piero Chiara, called Orta San Giulio "God's Watercolor". The facade of the houses overlooking the main Orta San Giulio's square reminds what Chiara wrote. And Augusto Mazzetti, journalist and poet, used to call this square "the living room". That's Orta, romantic and so far from noisy world. Click the image to enlarge.




pro loco orta san giulio

pro loco omegna

ameno blues

festival jazz miasino

trenino di orta

la piazza, a dreaming view


Island of San Giulio©by M.Mombello & A.Mula

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piantina_ortasmall_h.jpg (4318 byte) point_g.gif (863 byte) Tourist Map of Orta San Giulio. What to see & where. The street's names and all the usuful places for a tourist.
Click here to enlarge the image or to print it.

point_g.gif (863 byte)L.Marshall: Orta is a place of mists and devotion. Morning mists come with the territory: this little jewel, just eight miles long and less than two wide, is the only one of the Italian lakes entirely in Piedmont. The devotion is figured plainly in the 20 small chapels of the Sacro Monte above Orta San Giulio, with their stirring and educational tableaux ... continue

point_g.gif (863 byte) Island of San Giulio's legend: The legend goes that this island, at 400 meters from the shore of Orta, was once a rock inhabited by snakes and terrible monsters (probably symbol of the presence of heretic Arians) till 390, when Saint Giulio set foot on it: walking the lake waters on his cloak and guided by his staff through the storm, the Saint founded a church, where he was later to be buried, and transformed the island into the evangelization centre of the entire region.


lake orta's webcam

point_g.gif (863 byte) lake orta's webcam, click here

point_g.gif (863 byte)A walk through the peninsula of Orta San Giulio, away from paved road. From the main square, following the shore, visiting the Sacro Monte, listening the "voice of dead".


point_g.gif (863 byte) The wonderful ambone in the Basilica of San Giulio, with its mysterious medioeval symbolism.

the ambone
the ambone

point_g.gif (863 byte) Bells' concert on the lake

point_g.gif (863 byte)The Sacro Monte of Orta is located within a historical parc, nowadays a nature reserve, of 13 hectares and comprises 21 votive chapels dating back to the end of the XVIth and the XVIIIth centuries with frescoes and sculptures of terra cotta narrating the life of San Francesco of Assisi. Sacro Monte d'Orta is in the World Heritage List safeguarded by UNESCO (more)

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Sacro Monte

point_g.gif (863 byte) Taste the taste: Discover recipes, wines and flavors of Lake Orta

 point_g.gif (863 byte) Visit the abandoned houses and villas around lake Orta

point_g.gif (863 byte) The curious story of a stele in the cemetery of Orta S. Giulio

point_g.gif (863 byte)Current home of Orta San Giulio's Municipality is Villa Bossi, built in the seventeenth century, with a beautiful garden overlooking the lake - open every day: Via Ettore Bossi 11.

(click the image to enlarge in new window)

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Villa Bossi

point_g.gif (863 byte) Free Lake Orta's desktop wallpapers: Here you can find some images for your pc
point_g.gif (863 byte) (curiosity) The submerged Christ of lake Orta
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Agrano, the village of the Dead

The dead of Agrano

point_g.gif (863 byte) (curiosity)The oldest document in Italy where it's indicated precisely the existence of a legal provision for witchcraft is reported in Orta. This is the "Consilium" that Bartolo Sassoferrato (1313-1357) sent to the Bishop of Novara, Giovanni de Plotis, and to the Inquisitor of that city, perplexed by the penalty to be imposed on a Orta San Giulio's woman arrested and prosecuted because accused of witchcraft. The burning of the alleged witch was in 1340. Obviously, she is not the first witch to be persecuted in Italy, but certainly the first of witches with some documented information, even if we do not know her name, and we refers to her simply as the "Orta's Witch"


Tourist Office Orta San Giulio
Via Bossi 11, 28016 Orta S.G. (No)

email: accoglienza2003@libero.it
Tel & fax (0039) 0322 90155



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