"Lago d'Orta" Lago d' Orta by sylina

Lago d' Orta Travel Guide: 67 reviews and 144 photos

Romantic Orta

Orta is a small lake lies to the west of Lago Maggiore.. Its romantic tranquil nature makes a great full day trip from Stresa.

Lake Orta is a minor star in the costellation of the subalpine lakes, but all the fascination and the history of the larger lakes seem to be concentrated in this short space. -- www.orta.net

What they say about Orta...

Lago d'Orta, one of the smallest and least-known of northern Italy's sub-Alpine lakes, is a place for sublime moments. The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who visited the lake in May 1882 and believed that the experience changed his life forever, inscribed the date "von Orta an" ("from Orta onwards") as a preface to his masterpiece Thus Spake Zarathustra. Other 19th-century writers enchanted by its quiet beauty include the French novelist Honor de Balzac, who wrote rapturously of this "grey pearl in a green jewel-box", and Robert Browning. His poem "By the Fireside", which contemplates the beauty of a setting where "Alp meets heaven in snow", describes the lakeside village of Pella as a luminous "speck of white... in the evening-glow". -- www.orta.net

A place of mists and devotion

Orta is a place of mists and devotion. Morning mists come with the territory: this little jewel, just eight miles long and less than two wide, is the only one of the Italian lakes entirely in Piedmont. The devotion is figured plainly in the 20 small chapels of the Sacro Monte above Orte San Giuilo, with their stirring and educational tableaux of terracotta sculptures - like Counter-Reformation television - illustrating scenes from the life of Saint Francis. It is there too on the island of San Giulio, dominated by an ancient basilica and more modern convent. But the devotion is also that of those who have been here, and been charmed, and secretly wished that nobody - or at least nobody else - should give the game away. Certainly not in print. -- Lake Orta by Lee Marshall

  • Last visit to Lago d' Orta: Jun 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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