Hailed as ‘Italy’s most underrated Lake’, this hidden gem often gets overlooked by tourists thanks to its more famous neighbour Lake Como. However, those hoping for a getaway away from the crowds, Orta Lake is perfect.
Italy has it all: the mouthwatering food, beautiful landscapes, stunning nature and traditional culture.
The most popular tourist destinations remain Rome, Tuscany, Sicily and Lake Como, however popular does not always mean best.
For an insight of what are really the best destinations to go in a country, you must ask the locals.
And for Italians, the best is Lake Orta.
Tucked away in northern Italy, the quieter, more relaxed location is regarded as one of the most heavenly and romantic places to visit.
Lake Orta, which is in the foothills of the Alps, has no limit of activities, from surreal gardens in bloom, little villages, boating adventures, all just a short trip away from Switzerland – a popular day trip visit.
It is just an hour’s drive from Milan airport, or alternatively you could get the Eurostar from London to Paris then a connecting train.
For those with an eye for culture, the old pilgrimage site Sacro Monte di Orta is one to visit.
Perched high above the lake, the cathedral’s ornate decorations encompass the area’s rich history.
Another religious site to pay a visit to is the functioning monastery San Giulio, which has been given the nickname ‘the island of silence’.
The site got its name due to the spiritual mute walk that takes place in the area, home to a convent of nuns who devote their days to prayer and restoring the historic church’s vestments.
For photographers, or those with a keen eye for nature, the 19th century Gardens of Villa Motta is worth capturing.
The gardens were designed by 20th century architect Alessandor Mazzucotelli, and it blooms year round.