The following local attractions are on Lake Orta or within 10 miles (16 km) and should be on your things to do list:
· Orta San Giulio and the Island of San Giulio. An wonderful lake-side village, facing the island of the same name, with a very special atmosphere, car-free streets, a wealth of restaurants, superb ice cream bars, interesting shops, great bars, and a fun mini-golf. Click here for more about Orta San Giulio.
· Boat services on Lake Orta. There are regular boat services connecting Orta San Giulio with the Island, Pella and Lagna (about every half hour, from 0945 to 1905). On Thursday only (market day in Omegna) there are three services from Orta San Giulio to Pettenasco, Ronco and Omegna. See www.navigazionelagodorta.it for more details. Launches can be hired in Orta San Giulio (the boatmen will probably find you before you find them!). The web site of the boatmen is www.motoscafisti.com
· Fondazione Calderara. A modern art collection in Vacciago, in a house typical of the local style. Antonio Calderara had a long association with Vacciago; for further information on this great little collection and house, see the foundation's website www.fondazionecalderara.it which has a complete list of paintings, or this link on www.orta.net and this link on www.lagomaggiore.net
· Santuario della Bocciola. This beautiful baroque church in Vacciago overlooks the lake. See www.santuari.it/bocciola for the story of the miracle, beautiful reproductions of the early 19th century frescos and the times of services.
· Mottarone. The summit of this mountain may be reached by car via Armeno. It is situated between Lago d'Orta and Lago Maggiore, and affords a spectacular view of these two lakes, five others, and the whole Alpine arc. There is a cable car up from Stresa, the timetable is at www.stresa-mottarone.it. In winter, you can ski here, they are several lifts, a range of ski and boot hire shops, plus of course mountain restaurants. See www.mottaroneski.it for details. During the winter season, there is a new shuttle 'train' from the top cable car station to to the shops, restaurants, and pistes, see www.neveazzurra.it for details.
· Alpyland and the Mottarone Bob. An absolutely must do attraction for teenagers, this new bob run (opened 2010) at the top of the Mottarone is open daily throughout the year from 10am to 5pm (to 6pm at weekends). Amazing 1200 metre descent in two-person bobs with spectacular views of Lake Maggiore. Adults just 5 for single race, 4 for children 9-12 and over 65's. Discounts available for 4 or 6 races. Children admitted from age 4 if accompanied. See the you tube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh2phaMibFI. Web sites www.alpyland.com and http://www.visitstresa.com/Alpyland_Mottarone.htm.
· Omegna (5 miles). Busy town at the northern tip of the lake, can be reached by the regular boat service. Stand over the Nigoglia, the outflow river from Lake Orta, which flows north towards the mountains! And don't miss the absolutely spectacular firework displays in late August, which draw massive crowds from a vast area (web site www.sanvito-omegna.it). A good way to see these firework displays, avoiding the crowds, is by launch from Orta San Giulio.
· There is a flagship Alessi factory outlet store at Crusinallo, just north of Omegna, where you can see a wide range of Alessi products. Details on www.alessi.com/en/stores/flagship/ALESSISP.
· Lake Maggiore. Boat and hydrofoil (aliscafo) services operate along the length of Lake Maggiore, and car ferries cross it. See http://www.navigazionelaghi.it/ for timetables. This site also covers services on Lake Como and Lake Garda. See also www.illagomaggiore.it for forthcoming events on Lake Maggiore.
· Arona (10 miles). Nearby this pleasant lake-side town on Lake Maggiore is a giant statue of San Carlo Borromeo which you can climb inside. The town itself has many shops, restaurants and cafes.
· Stresa and the Isola Bella. Lake Maggiore and Stresa are easily reachable from Lake Orta by car for an afternoon or day-trip. The Isola Bella (so named for good reason!) may be reached by small boat from Stresa; it is world famous for the beautiful palace of the Borromeo family, and exotic terraced gardens.
· Zoo Park Villa Pallavicino. This great villa with extensive grounds overlooking Lake Maggiore, near Stresa, has something for everyone and makes for a superb day out; children will love the free roaming animals that they can go right up to. Web site www.parcozoopallavicino.it
·Tap Museum in San Maurizio d'Opaglio. A unique insight into this major local industry. Web site www.museodelrubinetto.it.
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