Ph. jean paul TEPPE/flickr
You will close your eyes and, for a moment, find yourself in a bygone era. A maze of narrow cobblestone alleys will lead you through a merry confusion of quaint little squares, ancient stone walls, antique stores, and dynamic craft stores. Orta San Giulio, located in the province of Novara, is a place of rare romantic beauty, where the spirit of lovers of the past still seems palpable within the centuries-old walls.
The winding streets of Orta San Giulio paved with polished stones, often lined with old stone walls. The only thing that surpasses the heady medieval spirit is the breathtaking view of Lake Orta offered by the 15th-century Church of Maria Assunta. This church is a popular wedding venue, steeped in romantic mystery and overlooking the rippling lake.
The granite steps of the church lead to Motta Square, the vibrant heart of the village. From here, streets branch off leading respectively to Moccarolo and Villa, two unique centers of life.
The former, Moccarolo, located in the southern part of the village, is an elegant neighborhood dotted with villas and mansions, all with small but lush gardens overlooking the lake. On a contrasting order, the Villa area offers a more rustic landscape, graced by noble period houses and wrought-iron balconies, a true spectacle for the eyes of visitors walking along the charming Via Olina.
Orta San Giulio
Orta San Giulio, however, is not only a place of romantic escapism, but also an epicenter of vibrant cultural vitality. Each year the village hosts a wide variety of cultural events. Among the most notable are the Cusian Festival of Ancient Music in June, during which internationally renowned musicians play ancient instruments within the centuries-old walls of Casa Tallone on the Island of San Giulio, and Ortissima, an art event that includes exhibitions in the Palazzo Pinotti Umbertini and temporary art installations scattered throughout the village streets.
Ph. oreste bosoni/flickr
Situated at the end of a promontory that slopes gently toward the shores of the lake, Orta stands opposite the Island of San Giulio. The village retains a timeless charm, characterized by charming narrow streets that meet and intersect along the main street, parallel to the lake.
Numerous alleys descend to the shores of the lake, while others climb steeply toward the Sacro Monte di Orta, proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered by Nietzsche to be "one of the most evocative places in the world."
In this splendid mosaic of past and present, set in a picture of incomparable beauty, it is easy to understand why Orta San Giulio is such a beloved treasure. A place where every street, every alley, and every square tells a story. A place where the soul can find quiet amidst the rhythms of the past, admiring the shimmering water of the lake and the elegant simplicity of the village.
Sacro Monte di Orta