Located to the west of Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta is one of the
smaller and lesser known lakes in the Italian Lake
District. The lake, like many of its larger neighbours, has a
fascinating history. It is certainly the quietest of the Italian
lakes, where the unspoilt historic town of Orta and the island of
San Giulio are set like jewels below the Alpine peaks.
Lake Orta has a beautiful island, called Isola San Giulio,
which is home to a beautiful church - the Basilica of San Giulio.
According to legend, the island was once a rock inhabited by snakes
and terrible monsters until the year 390, when Saint Giulio set
foot on it. Walking across the lake waters on his cloak and guided
by his staff through the storm, the Saint founded a church, where
he was later buried, transforming the island into an evangelical
centre for the entire region.