The small town of Orta San Giulio, considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, and the antique island of San Giulio opposite, together with the mirror of glittering water that is Lake Orta, are chests filled with artistic and aesthetic treasures. Come and discover them little by little, navigating between these pages ... and on our waters, of course.

Things to see, in Orta San Giulio town

From the lakeside of Orta San Giulio to Piazza Motta, from the Salita della Motta (the Ascent up the hill) to the Church of the Assumption, passing by the Palazzotto of the Community of the Riviera: everything you can admire in the small but most prestigious town of Orta San Giulio.

The Orta San Giulio lakeside

It begins at Gozzano and is lined with 19th century neoclassical villas, their gardens full of azaleas and blooming camellias. The town welcomes you with elegant seventeenth and eighteenth-century palaces, whose loggias open on verdant gardens sloping down to the shining waters of the lake…

Piazza Motta

Enclosed on three sides by porticos, cafés, and shops, it opens onto the blue waters of the lake and is the ideal place from where to admire the view of St. Giulio’s Isle before taking our public boat service to reach the island shores.

The Community of the Riviera

The Palace of the Community of the Riviera (dated 1582) catches one’s eye. Called the "Palazzotto", it has long been the seat of the General Council of the Community of the small Republic of the Orta Riviera. Unusually, among the bishop of Novara’s estates, Orta San Giulio was able to have its own statutes, as though it were a sort of autonomous state, over the long period that went from 1345 to 1753.

Along the Via Olina street

Continuing along the Olina, you come to the Olina house, the hospital dated 1602, and, at the junction with a small slope, the villa of Monti Caldara (17th century) with beautiful balconies of wrought iron, an element present in many houses of the village

Villa Bossi, the Town Hall

Just beyond, is the sixteenth-century Villa Bossi, now the seat of the Municipality, with the entrance that opens onto a lakeside garden. The San Rocco oratory church (1631), several seven to nineteenth-century houses (Casa Gippini, Casa Tosi, Villas Durio and Motta), later on, Bersani, are rich in medieval angles.

The ascent to the Motta

The ascent up to the top of the hill, the Motta, sees, on the right side, the fifteenth-century house of the Dwarves, so-called for its four tiny windows over the wooden lintel, and, almost opposite, another antique 16th century mansion; on the left, the De Fortis Penotti palace with a beautiful neoclassical façade and, on the right, the Gemelli palace, late Renaissance.

Church of Santa Maria Assunta

The summit of the ascent is represented by the Church of Santa Maria Assunta (dedicated to the Assumption of Mary) built in 1485, whose present physiognomy shows an eighteenth century adaptation; there’s a stunning Oira stone portal with floral motifs and animal figures. Past the Gemelli palace begins the ascent to the cemetery of San Quirico and then to the Sacro Monte.

Island of San Giulio

After visiting Orta, it is imperative to sail to the island that rises in the center of Lake Orta. The island of San Giulio, located about 400 meters from the shore, shows off its wonders to the mainland: the basilica with its antique bell tower, the verdant gardens, the lovely villas.

Where to swim: Lake Orta beaches

Where to swim on Lake Orta? Choose from beaches, a lido and the lakeside. Since 2014, Orta has been declared one of the ten best lakes for swimming in Europe and, in particular, it is the cleanest lake in Europe. Recommended for those who are looking for a vacation with lush nature, sports activities, culture and cuisine all in the area. Reach favorite places by ferry, enjoying the sights and comforts that only the Public Service Consortium can offer!

Ortello Beach

The small bay of Ortello has a tiny beach by Lake Orta and is part of the Orta San Giulio Municipality. The bay was in the past an ancient village of farmers and fishermen, which had developed in medieval times on the land that from the bay of the same name rises up the slopes of the Sacro Monte.

Bagnera - Orta

Large open meadow area, overlooking the Orta Lake, with a breathtaking view. It offers several services, including a restaurant, a kiosk / bar and an area fully equipped for lovers of true "beach life".

Miami beach

Immersed in the finest Lake Orta landscape, in Corconio, the Miami Beach will enchant you and make your vacation and relaxation unique, thanks to the area with deckchairs and umbrellas. There’s a kiosk of drinks and snacks, so you can enjoy the sun and the clear waters of the lake with friends or with family all day long.

Gozzano Beach

A sandy bay, sunny from morning to evening. Free, or a beach equipped with trampoline. Services, showers, bars and restaurants

Pettenasco Beaches

The beaches of Pettenasco offer many possibilities: choose from those fully equipped with a restaurant, bar, showers and toilets, to free ones (open all year) where you can lie on your towel and relax in the sun. Try them all, and choose your favorite one.

St. Maurizio d'Opaglio Beaches

If you are looking for beaches in the locality of San Maurizio d'Opaglio, then you have to go to the Port of Lagna beach, and to the beach at Pascolo. The first, always open and free, is equipped with public toilets. The second, a free beach without sand or gravel, has a kiosk for a refreshing lemonade or for a mid-afternoon snack!

Bagnella Beach

The beaches and the lido of the Bagnella are waiting for you, on the outskirts of Omegna. There is a kiosk to enjoy a snack or a drink on the sand. If you love sun, the beach life, and the relaxation that only the tranquility of the lake can convey ... come and take a walk around here!

Punta di Crabbia beach

With a spectacular view all the way to St Giulio’s Isle, this tiny beach, with a narrow entrance and boat mooring, will delight you with its poetic surroundings. The deepest point of Lake Orta; it is ideal for those who like to dive or, just for those who want to sunbathe.

What to visit near Orta San Giulio

Sacro Monte, the Holy Mountain of Orta

The Sacro Monte of Orta can be reached on a toy train from Piazza Motta. The more energetic can climb up on foot. The Sacro Monte of Orta has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO: a true masterpiece of art and architecture, with its 20 chapels relating the story of St. Francis of Assisi through earthenware life-size statues and exquisite Renaissance frescoes.

Gianni Rodari Fantasy Park

Located in Omegna and dedicated to the author of literature for young and old, the Gianni Rodari Fantasy Park is an attraction for families, groups and schoolchildren who want to add, to the enjoyment of a trip, cultural exploration and knowledge. Dedicated to the curious and lovers of the beautiful. The Fantasy Park is organized in three distinct areas: the Educational area of the Museum, the Torta in Cielo (Pie in the Sky) Gardens Nature Park, the Ludoteca or Play Centre area.

The Torta in Cielo (Pie in the Sky) Gardens

When nature seems fantasy. Touch the ripples of the lake and then, quickly, touch the sky. This proposal from fantasy becomes reality by taking a trip from the heart of the city, up a few kilometers in the green of the nearby forests, and suddenly emerging on a beautiful terrace overlooking the lake.

The Ludoteca of the "Stories to play with"

The new set-up of the Play Centre: the stories of Gianni Rodari visible, readable, "touchable" and playable in an environment that tells of the wonders of Lake Orta.

The Museum of Arts and Industry Foundation Forum

Polyvalent structure created to promote historical research on the industrialization of Omegna and Cusio. The foundation promotes the preservation of the historical memory of industry and crafts in the area, as well as the documentation of the technological processes that took place in Cusio and Omegna over the course of history.

«One who knew how to look, my father says, once called it God’s watercolour»
– M. Werner, Terraferma