The other day we took a little day trip to a small local lake called Lago d’Orta (30 minutes from our house). We visited the charming little town of Orta San Giulio that is located on the eastern bank of the lake.
The town is full of narrow cobblestoned streets lined with old stone building and beautiful courtyards. The town’s main piazza looks over the small island Isola San Giulio which is located in the middle of the lake. In the main piazza there are a few outdoor terraces where you can sit and have a meal or a drink and watch the boats and tourists.
There is a lovely little walk along the lake which leads out of the town. From there you can also walk up to the Unesco Heritage site Sacro Monte di Orta (literally the Sacred Mountain of Orta) which is located at the top of Saint Nicolao hill. As you walk up the hill you can visit the 20 chapels that were built in the 1500/1600’s and are full of beautiful artworks. From the top there are wonderful views of the lake and surrounding hills and mountains.
If you want to visit Lago d’Orta and stay in style, you definitely have to stay at the luxurious Villa Crespi. They even have a 2 michelin star awarded restaurant. The villa has a colourful facade and an exotic middle eastern style of architecture (with minaret an all!).Looking towards Isola San Giulio.The colours of Orta San Giulio.
Stone house with wooden roof beams and windowsill plants.
(ps…the season finale of cylce 15 of America’s Next Top Model was shot in this little town. Like you wanted to know that, right? And why oh why do I know that?).