PLACES TO GO - LAGO D'ORTA

The Buccione Tower 

Buccione

The Buccione Tower rises to a height of 23.20 m on top of a hill overlooking Lake Orta.

This massive granite and serizzo tower, with the two adjacent enclosures, is all that remains of an ancient fortified complex, documented since the early 13th century. Experts are divided as to its origins; it may have been built by the Romans, the Lombards or the Bishops of Novara.

The Buccione Tower was part of a dense network of fortifications designed to protect the independent burgh of Orta; it held a bell used to warn the people in the event of danger. You can see the last bell, which was used in the 17th century, in the gardens of Orta Town Hall.

Inside, the tower is divided into four floors by wooden platforms connected by ladders. The ceiling of the last floor is formed of a stone groin vault which supports the floor of the lookout. The present entrance, dating from the 19th century, opens into the bottom floor of the tower, whereas the original entrance is about seven metres from the ground. The second and third floors were occupied by the garrison, while the fourth floor contained the cell from which the entrance was defended by raining stones on assailants.

The other things to see while visiting the tower are the remains of a rectangular enclosure, the traces of a guardroom, the remains of another more recent wall, and an outpost.

The Buccione Tower stands within a Special Nature Reserve set up in 1993 by Piedmont Region to protect the historical and environmental heritage of the site, which along with the Sacro Monte and Monte Mesma is one of the most intriguing historical attractions of Lake Orta.

HOW TO GET THERE
By car: from the A26 exit at Arona and proceed in the direction of Borgomanero-Gozzano, turning right at the fork for Armeno-Mottarone. The hill where the tower stands is visible on the left, close to a working quarry. The nearby village of Orta San Giulio is 42 km from Malpensa Airport.
By train: the nearest railway station is Orta-Miasino, 2 km from Armeno.

FURTHER DETAILS
Riserve Naturali Speciali Sacro Monte Orta, Monte Mesma, Torre di Buccione
Tel. +39 0322 911960



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