Romantic Orta San Giulio

by Joelle

 

Lake Orta, one of the smallest and least-known of northern Italy’s sub-Alpine lakes, and for some the most romantic in Italy is a place for sublime moments.

The area around the lake has long been a favorite , thanks to the quiet beauty of the landscape, its fascinating history and its wealth of artistic treasures – principally Romanesque and Baroque architecture. Lake Orta lies to the west of Lake Maggiore, in the northern Italy. It is a minor star in the costellation of the subalpine lakes, but all the fascination and the history of the larger lakes seem to be concentrated in this short space.

The famous italian writer, Piero Chiara, called Orta San Giulio “God’s Watercolor”. The facade of the houses overlooking the main Orta San Giulio’s square reminds what Chiara wrote. And Augusto Mazzetti, journalist and poet, used to call this square “the living room”. That’s Orta, romantic and so far from noisy world.

From Villa Crespi, Cinzia  wife of  2 Michelin starred Chef Antonino Cannavaccioulo  created for us an small itinerary just before  our lunch. Check the images on the gallery above , read a few lines   from the several  of the greatest poets, writers and thinkers of all times . Enjoy the ride.

“Orta is a place of mists and devotion. Morning mists come with the territory: this little jewel, just eight miles long and less than two wide, is the only one of the Italian lakes entirely in Piedmont. The devotion is figured plainly in the 20 small chapels of the Sacro Monte above Orta San Giulio, with their stirring and educational tableaux of terracotta sculptures – like Counter-Reformation television – illustrating scenes from the life of Saint Francis. It is there too on the island of San Giulio, dominated by an ancient basilica and more modern convent. But the devotion is also that of those who have been here, and been charmed, and secretly wished that nobody – or at least nobody else – should give the game away. Certainly not in print.??This is also the only Italian lake that has a single, must-stay base: the charming, car-free town of Orta San Giulio. There are some cheerful, historic villages elsewhere, and one extraordinary church – the Madonna del Sasso – perched on a rocky ledge high above the western shore. But it is Orta San Giulio that holds the attention, with its serious cream-coloured houses roofed with thick slate tiles arranged like a display of biscuits, its magnetic lakeside central square ovelooked by the Palazotto – a frescoed 16th century town hall borne up by the stilts of a cosy loggia – and its unforgettable view over the Isola San Giulio, lit up at night like a holy ocean liner. ” –  Lee Marshall

The famous italian writer, Piero Chiara, called Orta San Giulio “God’s Watercolor”. The facade of the houses overlooking the main Orta San Giulio‘s square reminds what Chiara wrote. And Augusto Mazzetti, journalist and poet, used to call this square “the living room”. That’s Orta, romantic and so far from noisy world.

The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who visited the lake in May 1882 and believed that the experience changed his life forever, inscribed the date “von Orta an” (“from Orta onwards”) as a preface to his masterpiece Thus Spake Zarathustra. Other 19th-century writers enchanted by its quiet beauty include the French novelist Honoré de Balzac, who wrote rapturously of this “grey pearl in a green jewel-box”, and Robert Browning. His poem “By the Fireside”, which contemplates the beauty of a setting where “Alp meets heaven in snow”, describes the lakeside village of Pella as a luminous “speck of white… in the evening-glow”. ( The Independent)

Joelle’s Tips:

The lake Orta – OrtaSee, the most romantic of italian lakes, all you need to know it

Albergo stresa albergo 4 stelle lago d’orta albergo 4 stelle lago maggiore | Villa CrespiIMG_4091 IMG_4083 IMG_4084 IMG_4088

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