Orta San Giulio and its island

A pair of gems of rare beauty

Just over half an hour’s drive from Stresa is Lake Orta, another wonderful place that boasts two gems of rare beauty: the village of Orta San Giulio and, right in front of it, the famous island of San Giulio. Recognised as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, Orta San Giulio was built between the Middle Ages and the 18th century. The colourful houses and narrow cobbled streets of the old town enchanted Nietzsche when he passed through on one of his trips to Italy. To reach the island of San Giulio, you embark from the town square, which looks onto the lake. Sitting just 400 metres from the shore, the largely uninhabited island is home to Mater Ecclesiae Abbey, an important and picturesque nuns’ convent. The island’s perimeter measures just 650 metres, but do not be fooled by its tiny size: it is a magical, silent and mystical place, dotted with many evocative nooks and crannies that will speak to your soul. If you still have the time and the desire for a pleasant walk after your visit, we recommend the Sacro Monte di Orta, a UNESCO heritage site, which can easily be reached on foot.

Photo by Archivio Fotografico Distretto Turistico dei Laghi

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