Lake Orta is a small alpine lake in Northern Italy. Located between Lombardy and Piedmont, it is one of the most romantic and peaceful of the Po Valley. It lies to the west of the much larger Lake Maggiore at an altitude of 292 metres (100 metres higher than Lake Maggiore). The mighty Monte Mottarone (1,491 meters high ) separates the two lakes.
For centuries, Lake Orta has attracted artists and writers. Robert Browning wrote a poem which contemplates the beauty of a setting where 'Alp meets heaven in snow' and describes the lakeside village of Pella as a luminous 'speck of white... in the evening-glow'.
It is only 40 minutes by car from Milan Malpensa International Airport, an hour from the centre of Milan and 90 minutes from the centre of Turin.
Relatively undiscovered and far removed from mass tourism, Lake Orta lake offers a perfect place to relax and unwind. Its climate is mild, particularly on the eastern side, right up until late Autumn. With its clear, blue waters, clean air and open spaces, it offers the perfect environment to rediscover nature.
Meadows and woods extend over large areas with dense forests of chestnut, beech and pine. Its lakeside flora is equally beautiful with mimosas, camellias, azaleas, rhododendrons, wisteria , hydrangeas and gardenias as well as palm trees and olive trees. There are many footpaths that lead from the towns and villages through the forests up into the hills and mountains
Lovers of water sports will find places to swim in Lake Orta as well as sailing, water skiing and windsurfing. It is possible to rent kayaks, small motor boats and to go scuba diving.
The pearl of Lake Orta must be the town of Orta San Giulio, a jewel of medieval architecture with its quaint narrow streets and shops selling high-class gifts and local delicacies. A steep cobbled path will lead you up to the Sacro Monte (a Unesco site) - a hilltop plateau laid out with 20 chapels dedicated to the life of St Francis of Assisi. From the pictureresque main square you can hop on a ferry which will take you the nearby island of Isola San Giulio with its medieval houses, winding alleyways and 19th century seminary or take a tour and discover the full beauty of the lake.
Also worth visiting are the lakeside towns of Pettenasco, Armeno, Agrano, Miasino, Pella and Ronco .
The area is rich with gastronomic and culinary specialities and you will find restaurants to suit all budgets. The famous wine region of Piedmont.is well worth exploring too, while you are there.
Pettenasco railway station is 800 meters away. Milan Malpensa Airport is 49 km.
There are plenty of other things to do in the surrounding area:
The nearest equipped public beaches, open-air pool and boat hire are only 1,5 kms away.
The ski slopes are located at Monte Mottarone (17 km), in the Val d' Ossola (50 km) and Monte Rosa (65 km). On clear days the Mottarone offers a charming view of the seven lakes, Monte Rosa and the chain of the Alps.
Trekking is available in the Val d' Ossola, in the beautiful region of the Cascata del Toce ( 84 km ) and in the national parks of Veglia, Devero and Val Grande ( 47 km) .
The most popular areas for Mountain Biking are the slopes of Mottarone and the Val d' Ossola (guided tours are available on request) .
You can go fishing at Ponte Bria and on the west coast at the Laghetti di Nonio.
There are numerous golf courses in the area such as Golf Club Des Iles Borromées (Brovello Carpugnino) and Golf Club Alpino (Gignese)
Horse riding in Miasino (6 km) and Invorio (12 km)
Tennis at Pettenasco (1.5 km).
I have other rentals in Lake Orta , Lake Maggiore (Stresa etc.), Lake Garda and Lake Como - please contact me for details: