Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lake ORTA, an Authentic Italian Experience

Lake ORTA (Italian: Lago d’Orta) is a lake in northern Italy west of Lake Maggiore.
It has been so named since the 16th century, but was previously called the Lago di San Giulio, after Saint Julius (4th century), the patron saint of the region;Cusio is a merely poetical name. Its southern end is about 35 km by rail NW of Novara on the main Turin-Milan line, while its north end is about 6 km by rail south of the Gravellona-Toce railway station, half-way between Ornavasso and Omegna.
Its scenery is characteristically Italian, while the San Giulio island has some very picturesque buildings, and takes its name from the local saint, Julius of Novara, who lived in the 4th century.
Located around the lake are Orta San Giulio, built on a peninsula projecting from the east shore of the lake, Omegna at its northern extremity, Pettenasco to the east, and Pella to the west. It is supposed that the lake is the remnant of a much larger sheet of water by which originally the waters of the Toce flowed south towards Novara. As the glaciers retreated the waters flowing from them sank, and were gradually diverted into Lake Maggiore.

Lake ORTA, Piemont,Italy

Authentic Italian Experience
We spent the majority of our stay in Orta San Julio. The square is as you imagine a rustic Italian village to be. The square is at tourist prices but you can really soak up the atmoshere as you enjoy a beer at the Piccolo Bar. The island (on the lake) is well worth a visit via water taxi. But if you are a man in shorts or a woman with your legs exposed you won't be able to see inside the church, which is the main attraction. On the negative side, the Italian drivers leave a little to be desired but it is a small quibble in an otherwise brilliant experience

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