There is a wide selection of different leisure activities that one should never miss in Lake Orta:
Monuments and churches
1. The Painted Walls of Pogno
The little village of Pogno, located at about 20 minutes from Orta San Giulio, is the best destination for lovers of popular art. The village has been painted to decorate, to remember and even to protest, creating a vast art gallery in the open air, fresh, imaginative, representative of its people who wish to tell their story in pictures. There are a series of seven wall paintings and a piece in ceramic, all shown on the walls of a number of buildings in the historical center of the village.
2. Roman bridge of Pezzasco – Ameno
Ameno is on a plateau that slopes south east, on the eastern bank of Lake Orta, along the medieval Francisca road which connects Gozzano with Orta San Giulio. In the little hamlet of Pezzasco with its chestnut, pine and beech woods, there is a very beautiful and perfect place for a walk, a mountain bike ride or an excursion on horseback. Even more, in the heart of the countryside, you will come upon a fascinating little Roman bridge.
3. San Giuliano Monastery
Apart from its very fine frescoes, do not miss the extremely rare and precious pulpit carved in green marble, supported by 4 much older columns. The undeniable charm and fascination of the island are not its sole attributes. It is just a little mysterious too, thanks to the presence of the Mater Ecclesiae Benedictine convent, where there are now about 80 nuns living, while in 1973 there were only 6.
4. Buccione Tower- The medieval defense tower of the lake
The Tower in ancient times was surrounded by a wall with arrow-slits. At the very top, there was a bell which rang when danger was on the horizon. Today the Tower is inside the Piedmont Region’s Special Nature Reserve and creates a very stunning view of the island, that no one should miss.
Parks and gardens
This is a protected natural area which was established by the Piedmont region. The area has an interesting landscape with a wooded appearance and a monumental complex consisting of a covent and a church of considerable historical and architectural value. The slopes of the mountain are rich in vegetation. The fauna here is represented by the woods of Monte Mesma, which is composed of: roe deer, wild boar, foxes, hares and badgers.
Some of the most cherished memories are from the times when you are travelling. If you travel, you can experience things that you could never experience at home. You may see beautiful places and landscapes that do not exist where you live. You may meet people that will change your life, and especially the way you think. You may try activities that you have never tried before. Explore Lake Orta for an unforgettable experience and do not forget that Italy is always going to surprise you!
Be cautious: traveling in Lake Orta will affect you for the rest of your days. After all, “Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life.” (Anna Akhmatova)