Here, art and spirituality are framed by lush nature

Lake Orta, a treasure trove of art, nature, and history

Lake Orta is located due west of Lake Maggiore. It is the westernmost of the pre-alpine lakes and originates from the southern front of the Simplon glacier.

It is approx. 12.5 km long and 2.5 km wide. It is located at an altitude of 193 meters above sea level.

Unlike many of the pre-alpine lakes that have an emissary to the south, Lake Orta’s waters emerge from the north, giving rise to the Nigoglia stream, which then flows into the Strona stream and, through the Toce River, into Lake Maggiore.

The human presence on the lake’s shores is ancient and dates back at least to the Neolithic Age. In 1786, the territory of Cusio, the second name of the lake deriving from the Usii, the ancient population of Celtic origin living on the lake before the Romans’ arrival, became a property of the Savoys, thus becoming part of the Kingdom of Piedmont.

A natural, artistic, and historical treasure chest, the lakeside resorts of Lake Orta were often described in the works of influential writers such as Balzac, Rodari, Montale, and Soldati. Chefs and manufacturers (the “tap district” to the south of the lake and the “household district” to the north) have been increasing their fame for over two centuries.

Main town: Omegna, Pettenasco, Miasino, Orta San Giulio, Gozzano, San Maurizio d’Opaglio, Pella, Nonio

Lake Orta

  • Maximum depth: 143 meters
  • Shore length 33.5 km
  • Islands: Island of San Giulio
Immissaries from the east:
Torrente Pescone

Immissaries from the west:
Scarpia (o Lagna)
Plesna (o Pollesina o Pellesina)
Qualba (o Qualbo o Acqualba)
Fiumetta (o Bagnella)

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