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Jun 16, 2008

Lago D' Orta, Piemonte, Italy


There are many lakes throughout Italy and the largest is here in the North, although not in Vercelli. Lago Garda is enormous and draws many people to its shores for recreation and relaxation. I however, live close to Lago Orta and a little further afield from the popular Lago Maggiore and Lago Como. My favorite is Orta, for its size, and surroundings. The mountains
encircle the small lake enclosing it in a majesty that reminds us how small and humble we are.

Click here to read an interesting article by a writer Lee Marshall on his visit to Orta. It is humorous and informative and worth a moment to read.

Click here for an informative website on weather, events, you name it at Orta.

This place is magical for me. I've come here to a small cove in the summer to dip in the water and then drape myself over a large rock to doze. I've come to visit with friends and enjoy a stroll from the historical square at Orta San Guilio, through the narrow cobblestoned streets to the Sacro Monte. I've taken many a motorbike ride on the winding road that follows its shores, stopping at points just to gaze at the still water, marvel at the reflections of trees and houses and just be lazy. This place invites you to relax and it is easy to do so.

Some things to remember when visiting Orta San Giulio:

-- Unless you have strong ankles and sure footing in heels, come in sensible shoes. There are some flat pavers to walk on but through narrow (and I mean narrow) streets, there will probably be many women walking the narrow flat, = congestion.

-- Don't forget to look up. We are usually caught up with the sensory delights right in front of us...the beautiful shop windows and unusual items that we have the urge to buy. Colorful signs that lure us in for food or fun. Ice cream comes to mind. But above, take in the little balconies adorned with wisteria or other magnificent plants. Old green shutters dress up a window or french door. Even the drain pipes are a work of art.

-- Apartment or hotel? I personally like an apartment to rent and it makes sense especially if you are staying longer than a few days. I like to feel like I "live" in a place, with my kitchen stocked with the local cheese and wine and whatever else that is easy for me to make. It's cheaper too to buy groceries instead of eating out. Walking out from my front door, instead of a hotel entrance seals that "I could be living here" feeling. And isn't that a dream for many people?

--Walk to Sacra Monte. It's a little exercise but worth the effort. It's a little paradise within a Paradise.
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