Orta is the charm of a small ancient and pedestrian village overlooking the lake that bears the same name.
It is small, intricate cobbled paths that intertwine to climb the hill up to Sacro Monte, from which you can enjoy an unparalleled view of the lake, its island and the mountains of Cusio, Val Strona and Ossola, and then descend fairly quickly alternating with stairways and underpasses until you dive into the lake, inevitably passing through the elegant Piazza Motta.
From here, surrounded by noble palaces of the Baroque and Renaissance periods typical of the whole village, you can admire theSan Giulio Island reachable with the help of small romantic boats or ferries always docked at the small pier facing the square.
Once you reach the suggestive island, it is possible to walk the "way of silence and meditation" which, in all intimacy, leads to the cloistered convent and the old ecclesiastical buildings.
Returning to the mainland, one realizes the continuous reference between past and present, one totally integrated into the other, one passes from paintings of other times (hence the nomination to Painted Country) still intact on the facades of the houses to contemporary art exhibitions in the Community Palace, from bagpipe sounds on winter evenings to classical music concerts held on a regular basis, from traditional taverns to modern restaurants.
Orta offers poetic views always new, the important thing is to let oneself be attracted by the narrow streets whose end is not seen, to enter the doors of the palaces and public gardens. As mysterious in winter as it is sought after in the summer, it is certainly an elegant treasure of the lake protected by the mountains that surround and support it.
A preview of all this in the beautiful video.