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There are a number of public beaches on the west side of Lake Orta, between Gozzano and Pella, the largest of which is Lagna Beach (officially the Spiaggia Comunale Prarolo) in the Comune di San Maurizio d'Opaglio.  This great beach is completely free - but there are no lifeguards, food, bar, deck chairs or sun shades for hire, so you will need to bring that wonderful picnic of locally-bought fresh bread, cold meats and cheeses that you've been thinking of...!  It can be busy on August weekends (as in these photos), but you will have plenty of space at other times.  It's more fine gravel than sand.  The beach has full morning sun, and partial shade in the afternoon (but there's always lot's of nice shady space under the trees behind the beach).

To get there, follow the main road from Gozzano on the west side of the lake, and turn right at the traffic lights just after the Esso garage (if you are coming from Alzo or Omegna, turn left at the traffic lights just before the Esso garage).  Descend the curves of this road, and turn right into Via Lagna.  Turn right again into Lungolago Fratelli di Dio, and park wherever you can (there is a small car park).  Follow the footpath between the villas down to the beach.

Island of San Giulio and Orta San Giulio (and a local beauty...) from Lagna beach - August 2009

Isola San Giulio and the 'Ortensia' ferry from Lagna beach - August 2009

Diving platform at Lagna beach - with Pella in the distance - August 2009

Lagna beach (yes, she's turned over now...) - with the lake-side town of Pella in the distance - August 2009

Lagna beach - white cliff of the Madonna del Sasso - August 2009

Lagna beach - August 2009

Lagna beach - with the lake-side town of Pella in the distance - August 2009

Diving platform and Isola San Giulio - Lagna beach - August 2009

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