We enjoyed a wonderful stay in Michelle's and Paolo's Lake Orta house. When we arrived, it was all so perfect we joked we were just going to stay home at the house all week, enjoying the view. Everything was as described and more; the house is wonderful, well-equipped, and comfortable. The view of the lake and mountains never ceased to delight us.
Of course, we did actually leave the house: we enjoyed the ferry to the isola and to Orta San Giulio, where we climbed the Sacro Monte. The views from Madonna del Sasso were lovely, even on a misty day. We visited the weekly market in Omegna and agree with an earlier poster that the tourist information center there is very helpful. We drove over to Baveno on Lago Maggiore to ride the funvia up Mottarone, and visit the Isole Boromee and their astonishing gardens. Pella is a charming home base, lovely to wander about, and we enjoyed the rushing streams, water so clear we we could see the fish, and dining on the piazza while watching the town cats. We followed the lakeside road North from Pella and visited the Madonna dei Pescatori right on the water, and the hamlet of Ronco at the end of the road.
There is a tiny deli in Pella (wonderful proscuitto), a small supermarket in San Maurizio de'Opaglio, and large supermarkets in Gozzano. There is a good bakery with outlets in both Pella and San Maurizio (open more hours). We enjoyed many fine meals at home, admiring the view. At the risk of sounding delirious, even the tap water is delicious in Pella.
Up at the house, we could hear church bells, distant boat horns on the lake, and many birds. A week was not nearly long enough to enjoy this lovely property and this wonderful corner of Italy. Many thanks to Michelle and Paulo for sharing this little spot of paradise; I hope to someday return (and stay longer)!