Guided Tours of lake Orta: the island of San Giulio and the 12th-century Basilica. Sightseeing Tours with a local guide

Half-day tours together with the village of Orta San Giulio for groups, families, couples, small groups of friends

Full-day guided tours together with the village of Orta and the Sacred Mount

Accompanied by a professional English - speaking Tour Guide in Orta San Giulio

Nestled in the clear waters of lake Orta, lies this enchanting island. Impossible not to be fascinated by its old time feel. An Abbey and the renowned Basilica, where a visit is well worth it, give the little isle a magical and mystical atmosphere. The Romanesque church dates back to the 12th century when it was built on the foundations of a previous religious building. According to legend, Julius came to this region as early as the end of the 4th century and he built his hundredth church on the island. The Basilica was delightfully decorated in past centuries with superb frescoes and a masterpiece of Italian Romanesque sculpture is housed in this church: a beautiful ambo dating back to the 12th century.

A cobblestone path, the only one on isola San Giulio, known as "The Way of Silence and Meditation", leads around the island through elegant ancient villas and evokes the presence of a significant number of cloistered nuns who live at the Abbey Mater Ecclesiae.

CLASSIC HALF-DAY ITINERARY

In the morning or in the afternoon we meet in Orta (or I meet you at your holiday accomodation). Walk down to the village (or train ride). Boat ride to the isle of St. Julius; guided tour of the Romanesque Basilica and around island San Giulio. Return to the village for a guided tour there.

CLASSIC FULL-DAY ITINERARY

In the morning we meet in Orta (or I meet you at your holiday accomodation). Walk down to the village (or train ride). Boat ride to the island. Guided tour around the island and visit to the Romanesque church. Return to the village for a guided tour there. Free time for your lunch. In the afternoon guided tour around the Sacro Monte of St. Francis of Assisi, where we get on foot from the village or on the little tourist train.

NOTES

  • The half-day itinerary could be combined with:

  • Boat ride to the island takes just 5 minutes unless you want to enjoy a mini cruise on lake Orta (fare depends on chosen itinerary)

  • There's a charge for the tourist train

  • A guided tour of lake Orta is suitable for groups, families, couples and small parties

"It's not down in any map; true places never are" - Herman Melville

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San Giulio's Island, Lake Orta