Lake Orta, known by the Romans as Lake Cusius, lies to the west of Lake Maggiore enclosed in a circle of hills and mountains. ... More
Lake Orta, known by the Romans as Lake Cusius, lies to the west of Lake Maggiore enclosed in a circle of hills and mountains. It is the highest of the large pre-Alpine lakes. A promontory lies on the east shore of the lake with a gentle, peaceful shoreline. Orta San Giulio is the main tourist attraction in the area. The tiny village is characterized by narrow streets that surround the square with their quaintness. You will enjoy the climb to the Parish church, known as 'la Motta' that contains interesting pictorial works of art. The ancient basilica of San Giulio stands on the small island in front of Orta that can be reached by hiring a rowing boat or by ferry. The religious complex of Sacro Monte stands on a wooded hill behind Orta. Gozzano, with the Romanesque church of San Lorenzo and the oratory of the Madonna di Luzzara with 15th century frescoes, and the Longobard tower of Buccione, and Ameno, with the park of Villa Monte Oro, the Sanctuary of the Bocciola and the wonderful panoramic view from Monte Mesma, are the other main attractions on this small but pretty lake in Piedmont.
If you're staying in Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta makes a good day-trip for a change of scenery. About 45min - to 1hr away, the town of San Giulio is charming and a nice place for lunch on the lake. From the plaza you can catch a taxi to the nearby island where the eponymous saint who is rumored to have been the first wind-surfer ever.
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