Lake d'Orta (Lago d'Orta), also known as Lago d'Orta, is another of the great places Italy is so famous for. A small pond, surrounded by gentle alpine slopes, is located in the province of Piemonte (Piemonte), near the magnificent Lake Maggiore (Lago Maggiore). A quiet, cozy pond framed by romantic landscapes.
Mountain pond was formed naturally in ancient times, when glaciers descended from high peaks. A small fault was filled by cold streams and keys pounding from the ground. For a long time, the patron saint of the lake was considered St. Julius (San Giulio). According to numerous legends, San Giulio lived in the vicinity of a beautiful lake as far back as the 4th century AD. The modern name was assigned to the lake in the XVI century.
The great Frenchman Honore de Balzac (French Honore de Balzac) called this picturesque corner of Italy "a gray pearl in a green casket." Friedrich Nietzsche (German: Friedrich Nietzsche) gathered inspiration on the shores of a wonderful pond to create his masterpiece, "So Said Zarathustra." Emerald waves of mountain ramparts slide smoothly to the blue mirror of lake waters - this is the main and undeniable attraction of d'Orta.
Amazingly fresh air, cleansed by snow caps high in the mountains, as if an invisible waterfall descends into the valley. Already below, frosty freshness is intertwined with the aromas of plants and herbs, then it acquires a light water color. Taking a deep breath of this unusual cocktail, you can go straight to the edge of the lake to watch the pairs of graceful swans, majestically swimming in a pond. Not surprisingly, the English poet Robert Browning mentioned d'Orta as the place where "the Alps meet with snowy skies."
Geography and climate
Unlike its grandiose neighbor, Lago d Horta has modest parameters: an area of about 18 km2, length - about 13 km, bottom depth - up to 140 m. The elongated oval elongated shape of the reservoir is somewhat disturbed by a shorting in the southeastern part. Here lies one of the significant settlements of the valley - the city of Orta San Giulio.
The unusually mild climate and crystal clear waters are of particular charm. With the first spring days, warmth comes to the Lago d Horta valley, warming the air to +27 +35 0C. The temperature of the water rises a little slower, affected by the influence of cold keys. Water Index + 27 + 28 0C will hold steady until late autumn.
Holidays in the vicinity of Lake d'Orta do not tolerate fuss, small medieval streets covered with paving stones and old houses, subtly reminiscent of the running of time.
Horta San Giulio
The city of Horta San Giulio is very popular. The whole history of Italian architecture is collected in its architecture, however, a great emphasis fell on the Baroque and the Renaissance. The palazzo and villas of the Italian nobility are perfectly combined with azure water and the greenery of a mountain valley. It is especially pleasant to stroll through the numerous gardens, fragrant aromas of tropical, as well as native Italian flora.
Historical and architectural monuments give the city a special chic - the Palazzo delle Comunita, built near Motto Square (Italian: Piazza Motto). The light three-story palazzo building demonstrates the simple interweaving of baroque and classics. The building looks impressive due to the wide arched openings decorating its first floor.
Hotel Villa Crespi
City visitors are breathtaking when they first see a hotel called Villa Crespi. On the shore of the lake, in the middle of a magnificent green park, an unusual building rises, as if created by the skillful hands of a gin. A noble 19th-century silk merchant, Cristoforo Benigno Crespi, was deeply imbued with a love of oriental art. At his command, in a secluded corner of Italy arose a villa equipped with a real Arab tower. The bright turquoise dome of the high-rise tower is visible from afar, it is in perfect harmony with oriental motifs in the decoration of the entire mansion.
At one time, the rich rooms of the estate served to receive royal persons - Margarita of Savoy (Margherita von Savoyen) and King Umberto I (Umberto I). Currently, Villa Crespi opens its doors exclusively to the most eminent and wealthy guests. A huge park, incredible mountain landscapes, wonderful interiors, furniture and art objects are a privilege for the elite.
At the northern source of Lake Orta is the cozy town of Omegna. The silence and pastoral of its streets, once a year is replaced by a riot of colors and the roar of fireworks. The celebration of August St. Vitus Day attracts hundreds of tourists to Omenia. A parade of colored lanterns, floating on the water surface accompanied by theatrical performances and fun music - a spectacle, in truth, beyond description.
Isola di San Giulio (Italian: Isola di San Giulio)
Another mandatory item is a visit to the island of St. Julius, in other words, Isola di San Giulio. The island fits exactly in the middle between the southwestern and southeastern shores of the reservoir. A piece of land measuring 275 by 140 meters, modestly rises above the rippling waters of the lake.
A small stronghold is the embodiment of a long memory to the deeds of St. Julius. The main attraction is the Basilica of San Giulio, surrounded by strict and magnificent buildings: the palace of the bishops and the building of the monastery. All buildings created for the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages are now under the protection of the UNESCO Foundation.
Fun and relaxation
The warm, incredibly clear waters of Lago d'Orta promise travelers a great vacation. Near the cities, the coast is equipped with comfortable sun loungers and umbrellas, you can devote time to swimming and sunbathing.
Is it possible to swim on Lake Orta? Of course yes! You can swim comfortably on the lake from July to August. There are also plenty of rental centers: motor boats, jet skis and bicycles, diving equipment.
Having spent a lot of energy on the water, tourists will look into one of the many restaurants. The simple and amazingly diverse cuisine that Italy is famous for is what you need for a hungry vacationer. Crispy pizza, a variety of recipes for seafood, pasta, ravioli, aromatic wines. The menu of the coast of Lake d'Orta is ready to satisfy the appetites of any gourmet.
How to get there
Since the lake is located 50 km from Milan, one of the most popular routes to Horta is a train trip. Malpensa Airport is a great starting point. Landing station Novara (Novara), and destination - Orta-Miasino (Orta-Miasino).
In the suburbs of Milan is another airport - Orio al Serio (Orio al Serio). From this place you should get to Milan Central Station - Milan Stazione Centrale. The route of the trip Novara - Domodossola (Novara - Domodossola).
In addition to railway connections to the lake can be reached by rented car. You can find the most profitable option using the auto.italy4.me service.
There is a regular bus service between d'Orta and Maggiore. Departure from Baveno and Stresa three times a day.