Home Destinations The Most Beautiful Place in the World? Lago di Orta

The Most Beautiful Place in the World? Lago di Orta

by Penny Sadler

Lago di Orta, in the region of Piedmont, Italy, is nestled in the hills just east of Lake Maggiore. It’s only a thirty minute drive from Milan and Lake Maggiore, but without the hustle and bustle or glitz of Maggiore and another well known lake, Como. In fact not many people have heard of Lago di Orta, not even the Italians, though they comprise the majority of tourists there. I think they must want to keep it for themselves. Why? Because I think Lago di Orta just may be the most beautiful place in the world.

The MostBeautiful Place in the World Lago di Orta, Italy. @PennySadler

View of the lake and the island in the background.

The town of Orta San Giulio on the east side of the lake is one of the most romantic places I’ve ever been.  The buildings are all brilliant terracotta colors with tile rooftops and painted shutters, tumbling down the hillside toward the lake. It’s a pedestrian-only town, with one narrow alley-like street and few little side alleys that beckon you to explore them.

the most beautiful place in the world @PennySadler 2013

Colors of Orta

the most beautiful place in the world Lago di Orta, Italy @PennySadler

Colors of Orta

Towering above Orta San Giulio is Sacro Monte (spiritual mountain), a place of pilgrimage dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi. There are twenty chapels illustrating the life of St. Francis along a clearly marked path with picnic and rest areas along the way. At Sacro Monte, nature and architecture are carefully combined to enhance the feeling of devotion and encourage meditation. You also have a spectacular view of the lake from the mountain.

Isola San Giulio, Lago di Orta @PennySadler 2013

Isola San Guilio, Lago di Orta

Then there’s Isola San Giulio, a tiny gem of an island. In the ninth century the Bishop of Navaro built a basilica there which dominates the landscape. There’s also Benedictine monastery built in the 1900s. It seems that even the island is a place for the religious and spiritual seeker, although you could simply enjoy the scenery and the architecture. From Piazza Motta the main square in Orta San Giulio, you can take a ferry over to the island.

the most beautiful place in the world Piazza Motta, Lago di Orta, Italy @PennySadler 2013

Piazzo Motto

If you’re only here for a day or less, as I was, have lunch at one of the restaurants on Piazza Motta – all have a lake view. Isola San Giulio is visible from Piazza Motta, and sitting there with a view of the lake and the island is like sitting in a big open air theater in one of the most beautiful settings in the world.

From the moment I arrived, Lago di Orta stole my heart.

The Most Beautiful Place in the World Lago di Orta @PennySadler 2013

A charming alley

If you go, the best way to arrive is by car, though it’s possible to go by bus.
For more information on the area. http://www.orta.net/eng1/indexe.htm

Accommodations are mainly hotels on the lake, though there are some apartment rentals as well.

http://lakeorta.com

Have you been to Lago di Orta? Do these small out-of-the-way places call to you? Do you enjoy visiting places of spiritual or religious significance?

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29 comments

Travel Writers On Their Best and Worst Moments - Adventures of a Carry-On May 21, 2014 at 9:30 pm

[…] my research on the area I was traveling to, Lombardia, I discovered a place called Lago di Orta. As it turned out, the friend of had never been there before either and was game to check it out. […]

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tommyanny November 13, 2013 at 9:53 am

Italy is one of the beautiful country in Europe. This country is my next target to visit and enjoy. also get knowledge about their culture…..

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Penny Sadler November 15, 2013 at 8:51 am

I obviously recommend it! 🙂

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Lex @ Lex Paradise September 25, 2013 at 7:23 pm

I was in Rome but seem like I missed the great one! I need to catch up this one!

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Penny Sadler October 3, 2013 at 10:37 am

Well, it’s very different than Rome. I’m beginning to really enjoy these small out of the way places.

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Mary @ Green Global Travel September 22, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Beautiful! I’d love to get lost in Lago di Orta for a few days.

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Penny Sadler October 3, 2013 at 10:38 am

I think I could spend a week there – maybe more if you explore the region. It could be a great base camp.

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Larissa September 20, 2013 at 11:39 pm

It looks perfect–all the beauty of the Italian Lakes without the crowds. I want to go to there! 🙂

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Penny Sadler September 21, 2013 at 9:39 pm

You’d love it!

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Kayla September 19, 2013 at 10:51 am

My husband and I are trying to figure out where to go this next summer… I think I have just found it!

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Penny Sadler September 19, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Glad to hear. I’m sure you will love it! Let me know.

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Marina K. Villatoro September 18, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Italy just keeps on getting more and more beautiful. It looks like you need months in this country to enjoy it fully. if not years.

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Cat of Sunshine and Siestas September 18, 2013 at 6:00 am

I live for these kinds of places – a roadtrip through Italy would be perfect!

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Penny Sadler September 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Roadtrip for sure!

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Mishele September 17, 2013 at 11:08 am

Beautiful pictures! I will add it to my travel list!

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Mishele September 17, 2013 at 11:06 am

Just beautiful!

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wanderingeducators September 17, 2013 at 10:26 am

what an incredibly beautiful place!

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Angelo Di Giorgio September 17, 2013 at 5:18 am

I agree 100% with Penny Sadler : Orta San Giulio and Lago d’Orta are one of the most romantic place ever !

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Penny Sadler September 17, 2013 at 9:32 am

Happy to hear it! 🙂

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OCDemon September 16, 2013 at 11:15 pm

It’s weird sometimes how some things get famous and other things don’t. But then again, it means hidden treasures are still all over the place.

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Penny Sadler September 17, 2013 at 9:32 am

Isn’t that nice!

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nicole September 16, 2013 at 9:19 pm

It is very pretty. I like how some of the buildings are different colors. There’s this place in Slovenia called Lake Bled that has an island in the middle of the lake. It’s so pretty, too. They built a church on it, too! =)

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Penny Sadler September 16, 2013 at 10:45 pm

The island definitely adds to the atmosphere, but also the architecture there. The pictures are good, but really you have to see it.

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The Tin Man September 16, 2013 at 6:16 pm

What a marvelous find! I shall visit it our next trip to Italy. Just beautiful.

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Penny Sadler September 16, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Tin Man, please let me know if you do and if I can help. I want to go back myself.

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Maria September 16, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Wow Penny – Orta San Guilio is so picturesque and the photo of Isola San Guilio, Lago di Orta… looks like a movie set. Outta this world.

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Penny Sadler September 16, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Thanks Maria. It is!

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Kate @30Traveler September 16, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Ahhh Italy. My favorite place in Europe by far.

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Penny Sadler September 16, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Well You know what I think. 🙂

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