Let me tell you a secret…

Sometimes you need to share your secrets with people around you. You can’t keep it for yourself forever but instead you need to let it go … AND today I decided to invite you into my secret.

The secret is not a big secret but it is a secret that according to the newspaper “The Guardian”: “… the Milanese have kept to themselves”. And so have I.

It is a beautiful secret and now I will share it with you: I have found heaven on earth. The name of the place is: “Orta” and the Italian people speak about the place as “… the lake tourists haven’t discovered”. Well – now you can!

To be honest… I have lived in Italy for almost 5 years now and I have seen A LOT of places in Italy and “Lago d’Orta” and the lake’s principal town “Orta San Giulio” is one of my absolute favorite places.

Like when you fall in love it is sometimes difficult to explain exactly why. But I will give it a try:

The soul is pleased as well as the eye

The Milanese call it “La Cenerentola” (Cinderella) and from the moment I discovered Lago d’Orta I wanted to shout – “I am in heaven”. You feel the silence that surrounds Lake Orta in northern Italy and it’s beauty is overwhelming. What sets Orta apart is the combination of the mysterious silent lake, the architecture of the houses with their reflection rising out of the lake and the mountains which looks like a background from a painting. It is this intimate drama of its settings which is breathtaking and grabs you by a surprise.

Tiny and beautiful

The lake’s principal town is called “Orta San Giulio” and it is built on the slopes of a steep hill (the Sacro Monte) that forms a peninsula jutting out into the lake. By day it looks longingly toward the beautiful island. By night the gaze becomes even more amorous when the island is lit up and appears to float on the dark water glistening with reflections.

A boat trip to a fairy tale destination

To reach the enchanted Isola San Giulio you can catch a boat to it all year round from the square. It is an easy trip and almost all who visit this miniature island are enthralled but there is more to take pleasure in and admire here than stunning views and the appeal of ancient Italian villages. The church is a treasure house of artworks covering a number of centuries. No wonder that many Italian couples choose this fairy tale destination to be the scene of their wedding.

A rough diamond who doesn’t know it’s beauty

The bewitching beauty of Orta is a secluded jewel of a lake just a mile wide and to the west of Lago Maggiore. These days everyone flocks to flashy Lago di Como or Lago di Maggiore but Lago d’Orta is the secret little sister. It is popular as a weekend destination for people from Milan but little known outside Italy. Most of the people here are Italian – some Germans and some Dutch – but there are plenty of Italians who don’t know about this place either… heaven on earth. But now you know 🙂





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