9Orta San Giulio, Lake Orta

Lake Orta is unquestionably one of the lesser known of the Italian Lakes. Relatively undiscovered by tourists, the lake itself has earned the nickname La Cenerentola (Cinderella) among locals, viewed by them as secretly superior to its larger neighbours, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore. We’re not sure we agree with them that it’s superior but we can agree on one thing – Orta San Giulio is a real gem.

Orta San Giulio alone is extremely picturesque with beautiful Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture to discover (including the magnificent Villa Crespi and Villa Perone) as well as stunning lanes and alleyways to explore, but its beauty is made even more prominent by its position opposite the Isola San Giulio, an island set just 400 metres away in the lake and reachable by boat.