Various motorways link the lake with the main cities and with the coast of Liguria:  the A8 (Milano-Laghi), the A4 (Milano-Torino) and the A26 towards the Liguria riviera.

FROM THE SIMPLON PASS
Domodossola, Gravellona Toce Omegna, Pettenasco

FROM THE ST GOTTHARD PASS
Locarno (CH), Verbania, Gravellona Toce, Omegna, Pettenasco

FROM MILAN
A26 motorway, exit Arona, Borgomanero, Pettenasco

FROM GENOA
A26 motorway, exit Borgomanero, Gozzano, Pettenasco

FROM COMO AND LUGANO
A9 motorway, A26 motorway, exit Arona, Borgomanero, Pettenasco

BY TRAIN
Railway tation is Pettenasco, just 800 metres from the villa, you can get there from Milan or Turin, change at Novara.

As an alternative to car rental, a private transfer to and from all the main Milan airports (Malpensa, Linate or Bergamo Orio al Serio) can be arranged at time of booking or by contacting the Concierge.

THE MEDIEVAL VILLAGE OF ORTA

Imagine the quiet of the little village of Orta and the unique nature of its surroundings, the ideal place for your next trip in quest of relaxation and wellbeing.

In the middle of the lush green countryside between the lake and the Alps, the little town of Orta San Giulio, one of the 100 most beautiful in Italy, is easily reached by car or boat.

At all times of year the charmingly romantic town of Orta San Giulio offers strikingly-coloured landscapes: the Sacro Monte and the island of San Giulio are the most well-known attractions, standing out against the stunning landscape where the exclusive charm of the atmosphere ensures each minute detail is unique.

If you seek magical legends and mysterious stories you are in the perfect place, for they surround the island of San Giulio, the only island in Lake Orta.

The nineteenth century Palazzo dei Vescovi, or Bishop’s Palace, hosts the Benedictine Abbey for the silent order nuns of the Mater Ecclesiae. The current convent goes back to 1973 which originally had just six nuns there, as part of the foundation of the Milanese Viboldone Abbey. In the Abbey today are about 80 Benedictine nuns who preserve and keep alive the tradition of St William of Volpiano, born on the island and who gave a strong contribution to European monasticism.

We are told of a place in the distant past infested with dragons, serpents and marine monsters, beaten by violent storms: this is the island which according to legend, welcomed San Giulio, or St Julius, at the end of the 4th century when he built his church there to deliver the place from the evils of paganism. Landing there on his cloak, San Giulio faced the beasts who inhabited the waters of the lake, alighting on the island where he later built his 100th church, which was also to be his last.

The historical period corresponds with the time of Christian evangelisation and the gradual disappearance of paganism, the monsters are symbols of evil and the incarnation of the pagan cult Christianity would then replace.

A walk on the island today is a gift for the eyes, offering up an enchanted scene: the lake and mountains all around are like a beautiful real-life painting.

Over the course of the centuries, the Church of San Giulio has undergone a great many expansions under various architectural influences. The exterior is in a simple and rather romantic style.

Apart from the basilica, the island offers a pedestrian walk, called the Way of Silence, or Via del Silenzio, adorned with aphorisms on the theme of silence and meditation, making it a perfect place for a contemplative pause for thought.

THE ISLAND OF SAN GIULIO

SACRO MONTE

A UNESCO gem at Orta San Giulio.

Dedicated to St Francis of Assisi, Orta’s Sacro Monte, or Holy Mount, is a sanctuary that has grown on the top of a little hill: a privileged position from which to admire the spectacular views over the Island of San Giulio, the lake and mountains.

Recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site, the Sacro Monte emanates an aura of prayer, meditation and spirituality.

Offer a devotional journey dedicated to St Francis: 20 frescoed chapels, adorned with life-size painted terracotta statues representing the most significant episodes in the life of the saint.