Lake Orta, is situated to the west of Lake Maggiore, and is approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes drive from both Milan and Turin. Milan Malpensa Airport is 28 miles away, while Milan city centre can be reached by car in about 60 minutes. The luxury villa we have to rent here is in Pelle, just across the lake from the charming medieval village of Orta San Giulio, which can be reached by car, or taxi boat across the lake.
In the middle of the lake between Pelle and Orta San Giulio is the picturesque island of San Giulio, also reachable by boat. With its Romanesque Basilica, 19th century Bishop’s Palace, and a Benedictine Abbey, plus a charming atmosphere, the island is well worth a visit. There is also a restaurant on the island set inside the 17th century Villa Tallone.
Visitors to Lake Orta can also enjoy nature walks, Piedmontese wine tastings and photography. Guided tours of Saint Giulio Island and Orta San Guilio village are available, and further afield in Piedmont, including a climb up to Sacred Mount of Orta, a Unesco world heritage site. The area offers opportunities for walking, hiking, biking, swimming, canoeing, waterskiing, sailing, fishing, horse riding, golf and skiing. Last, but not least, there are also Michelin starred restaurants and typical Italian trattorias to be enjoyed, as well as shopping in the local markets, or further afield in Milan.
The medieval atmosphere of Orta is enhanced every June with the Cusio Festival of Ancient Music, when a series of concerts are given in the 18th century Casa Tallone, on San Giulio Island, by internationally famous musicians playing ancient instruments. Other cultural events include Ortissima, an art exhibition at Palazzo Pinotti Umbertini, and a Flower Show in spring in Piazza della Motta.