Top Tips For Lake Orta

Inspired to visit Lake Orta? Here’s our top tips on what to see and do, where to eat and drink and what not to miss!

*piazza motta 2WHAT TO SEE AND DO

➤ Boat trip to Isola San Giulio<
Piazza Motta 1, Orta San Giulio
+39 333 605 0288
Motoscafi Pubblici di Orta offer trips across to Isola San Giulio as well as other trips around the lake. You will find them moored up in Piazza Motta just waiting for the opportunity to ferry you across this beautiful lake.
➤ Sacro Monte di Orta
Via al Sacro Monte, Orta San Giulio
+39 0322 911960
Spectacularly set on a wooded hillside above Orta San Giulio, with fantastic views of the lake and the island, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a devotional path which follows a series of frescoed chapels illustrating the life of St Francis of Assisi. The 21 chapels, which were erected between 1591 and 1750, are built in the baroque and Renaissance styles and have in total 376 terracotta sculptures and 900 frescoes, all depicting various stories about the life of St Francis.
➤ Madonna del Sasso Sanctuary
Via al Santuario, Madonna del Sasso
+39 0322 981156
This sanctuary, which includes a baroque church, bell tower and hermitage, was built in the 18th century. Inside the buildings are some interesting frescoes and outside there is a Bocca della Verità, or Mouth of Truth. However, the highlight of the trip has to be the magnificent view of the whole of the lake.
The Tap Museum*Orta San Giulio
Piazza Martiri 1, San Maurizio d’Opaglio
+39 0323 89622
This surprisingly interesting museum shows the importance of the tap industry to the local area and explains about the technological development of taps and water supply in general. Free to go in, it is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 3pm and 6pm.
➤ The Kitchenware Museum
Parco Pasquale Maulini 1, Omegna
+39 0323 866141<
The comune of Omegna is famous in Italy, and beyond, for being home to several companies that produce stylish kitchenware. These include Alessi, Lagostina, Bialetti, Piazza and Calderoni. This museum showcases their products and how they developed. It is open between 9.30am and 5.30pm on weekdays.


➤ Villa Crespi
Via G. Fava 18, Orta San Giulio
+39 0322 911902
Staying at Villa Crespi is a wonderfully unique experience. A Moorish style villa, complete with its own minaret, it offers 14 ornate rooms with sumptuous four poster beds, antique furniture and decadently luxurious bathrooms. Staff are helpful, polite and courteous and there is ample car parking in the grounds around the hotel. Rooms cost from €300 per night including your breakfast.

*VIEW FROM PIAZZA MOTTA➤ Hotel Giardinetto
Via Provinciale 1, Pettenasco, Lago d’Orta
+39 0323 89118
Hotel Giardinetto enjoys a marvellous position on the side of the lake in Pettenasco. Most of the bedrooms have their own balconies overlooking the lake and these have absolutely stunning views. The staff are very friendly and helpful and it has its own small beach and pool for guests to use. There is also free parking. Rooms cost from €184 with breakfast included in the price.

➤ Hotel Leon d’Oro
Piazza Motta 42, Orta San Giulio
+39 0322 911991
A centuries old building on Piazza Motta, this hotel looks directly across to Isola San Giulio. Bedrooms are bright and airy and some have jacuzzi style baths. Family run and very friendly. Rooms cost from €110 including breakfast.

➤ La Contrada dei Monti 
Via Contrada dei Monti 10, Orta San Giulio
+39 0322 905114
A small, family run hotel in the centre of Orta, very well located as it is not far from the restaurants and shops. It has comfortable, stylish rooms, many of them overlooking the pretty and small courtyard where breakfast is served in the summer months. Rooms cost from €110 including your breakfast.

➤ Locanda di Orta
Via Olina 18, Orta San Giulio*Santa Maria Assunta
+39 0322 905188
Locanda di Orta is a very good value hotel right in the centre of Orta. The rooms combine medieval touches with contemporary design. The restaurant is on a rooftop terrace, and dining there means you can enjoy some amazing views. Rooms cost from €75 including breakfast with a view, too.


➤ Hotel Crespi Via G. Fava 18, Orta San Giulio
+39 0322 911902

Orta’s finest hotel is also home to a quite superb restaurant. Antonino Cannavacciuolo’s gourmet dishes have earned him two Michelin stars over the years. Set in extravagant, exotic surroundings, dining here is an experience not to be missed. A meal for two with wine will cost from €200.
Price range € 

➤ Hotel Giardinetto
Via Provinciale 1, Pettenasco
+39 0323 89118
The Giardinetto’s light and airy restaurant looks directly out over the lake and, while you are enjoying the wonderful views, you can have a truly great meal too. The staff are very friendly and helpful, and there is a very good selection of wine to choose from to accompany your dishes. A meal for two with wine will cost from €90.
Price range

➤ Taverna Antico Agnello
Via Solaroli 5, Miasino
+39 0322 980527

A very friendly family *view from the Madonna del Sasso Sanctuaryrun restaurant located up in the hills above Orta in Miasino. Set in the grounds of the Villa Nigra, the food is delicious and well worth the journey. The lady who runs it speaks excellent English and is very welcoming. Make sure you save some room for the desserts. A meal for two with wine costs from €85.
Price range

Ristorante Venus
Piazza Motta 50, Orta San Giulio
+39 0322 90 362
Situated in Piazza Motta with magnificent views of the Lake and the island, you can either sit inside, or choose to eat on a table out on the piazza. The food is good and there is a varied and interesting menu on offer. A meal for two with wine costs from €80.
Price range

➤ Enoteca al Bouec

Via Bersani 28, Orta San Giulio
+39 339 584 0039
Don’t miss this cosy little wine bar
situated in a very old building, and
the perfect place to linger for an atmospheric glass or two They serve light meals to accompany their wonderful wines.
Price range

DON’T MISS*view from Madonna del Sasso

The Pinocchio industry
Woodworking was a popular occupation in the Valstrona area at the north of the lake. Production once concentrated on kitchen articles, but now focuses on Pinocchio, the famous wooden puppet. One of the best-known workshops to see this is Mastro Geppetto.

Orta’s own Miami Beach
On the south-eastern shore  of the lake lies Spiaggia Miami, Orta’s own Miami Beach. Not far from Orta San Giulio, it offers all the usual beach facilities and has a bar and a restaurant. Enjoy a taste of the seaside surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the hills and mountains.