Orta San Giulio
Orta has a dreamy and celestial quality to it. Narrow alleys that twist and turn finally opening up to the lake that is sometimes masked by a light misty fog that makes for a surreal experience. Adding to the intrigue is the tiny island sitting right in the middle of the lake. It has a Benedictine monastery worth a visit, but its main allure is the complete tranquillity found here.
Orta is also home to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sacro Monte which is one of nine sacred mountains in Italy. Unlike the other Sacred Mountains, Orta’s is the only one completely dedicated to one saint – St. Francis of Assisi. There are 20 chapels that depict episodes of his life by offering theatrical representations by use of terracotta statues and detailed paintings.