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Skiing | Sports | Shopping | Eating Out | Cooking Classes

Coiffeuse (hairdresser) in side street in Orta San Giulio... photo with permission and courtesy of Giovanni Vignotto 2012

Local Shops

Shops in Orta San Giulio include speciality food and wine, gift items, jewellers, porcelain, lace, art galleries, antiquarian books and prints, stationers for cards prints and maps, estate agents, and banks (there are cash machines in Piazza Ragazzoni and Via Fontana).  Orta Market (in the main square facing the lake) has food and most household items, and there is a greengrocer tucked away in Via Bersani.

The village shop in Vacciago (La Bottega, web site is open seven days a week, and has fresh bread, wonderful cold meats, local cheeses, fresh fruit and vegetables, frozen meats, a selection of good wines, local honey and jams, and often has superb home-made pasta and pies made by the owner (Signor Edoardo).

La Bottega in Vacciago - photo courtesy of David Hammond   Edo, the proprietor of La Bottega in Vacciago - December 2009 - photo courtesy of Pardis Schwitzer

There's a good delicatessen Cusio Formaggi specialising in local cheeses but with lots of speciality foods, in Pettenasco, on the main lakeside road, about halfway between Orta San Giulio and Omegna (on the Omegna side of Pettenasco).  Web site  They offering a staggering range of their own local cheeses, the web site is also very informative about local cheese production.

Ameno has an excellent butchers shop (run by Sig. Felice), a thriving general grocery the Emporio di Serena (see the shop's page on FaceBook), a bakery, and a chemist.

On the circonvallazione (bypass) of Miasino there is a bakery Panificio Spriano that is also a small Conad supermarket.  This shop sells a range of excellent pasta sauces produced on a small scale by an agriturismo.  Convenient for Villa Gelsomina and Casa Bartula.  See Panifico Spriano on Facebook.

At Bolzano Novarese there is l'Agrifoglio (, a dairy farm outlet selling home-produced milk, wonderful local cheeses, superb yoghurt and great ice-cream, all from home-reared cows fed from home grown foodstuffs.  L'Agrifoglio is walking distance from Casa Bartula.

Pella has several small groceries, and there is a Conad supermarket at San Maurizio d'Opaglio (opening hours in section below).

Omegna, Gozzano, and Borgomanero are larger towns with a very wide range of shops and banks.  You'll find many good buys for clothes and shoes.


There are several major supermarkets on the main road (SR 229) between Gozzano and Borgomanero, including LD Market, Ipercoop, Supeco, and Esselunga.  There's a new Conad at Pettenasco, and another Conad at San Maurizio d'Opaglio (handy for Casa Fiori).  These supermarkets have separate delicatessen, pasta and meat counters, fresh fruit and vegetables, a wide range of breads, wines, spirits, and many household goods.  Opening hours of these supermarkets are as follows:




LD Market






San Maurizio


Briga N










Friday 0800-2200
Saturday 0830-2000 0830-1930









web site

Local Markets

Many towns have thriving markets, e.g. Orta San Giulio on Wednesday morning (mainly antiquarian), Armeno on Saturday morning (food), and Borgomanero on Friday morning (very large market with food, clothes, household, preserves, leather goods, etc).  Here is the full list of local market days.

Market Day Town and Times
Monday Baveno (0800-1300)
Tuesday Pettenasco (0800-1300)
San Maurizio D'Opaglio (0800-1300)
Arona (0800-1230)
Laveno (0900-1200)
Wednesday Orta San Giulio (0800-1300)
Luino (0900-1700)
Gravellona Toce (0800-1300)
Thursday Omegna (0800-1300)
Somma Lombardo (0800-1300)
Friday Borgomanero (0800-1300)
Stresa (0800-1300)
Pallanza (0800-1200)
Cannero Riviera (0800-1200)
Saturday Armeno (0800-1300)
Gozzano (0800-1300)
Verbania Intra (0800-1700)
Sunday Cannobio (0900-1300)

Metal Kitchenware

Omegna at the north end of Lake Orta is home to some of the top italian brands of metal kitchen accessories, so don't miss the factory outlet shops of Alessi (Via Privata Alessi 6, phone 0323-868.648, open Monday to Saturday 0930-1800, closed Sundays) and Lagostina (Via IX Novembre 39, phone 0323-652.255, open Tuesday to Friday 0900-1230 and 1530-1915), both of which are at Crusinallo, just north of Omegna.  Bialetti, the well-known producers of the popular stove-top Italian coffee makers, also started at Omegna and still have a small office there, but don't seem to have anything open to the public anymore.

Outlets within around 1 hour's drive

There is a superb shoe shop, Mazzucchelli, with the largest range of local italian and internationally branded shoes that we have ever seen, and all at very reasonable prices, at Besnate, in the centre of this small town (Via Tomasetto 2, telephone 0331-274.082), just a short distance from the Besnate exit of the A8 autostrada (the exit after Vergiate if you are coming from Lake Orta).  Web site

The main road between Arona and Sesto Calende (along Lago Maggiore) has a large number of out-of-town shops, including several large clothing shops.

About one hour from Lake Orta, at Vicolungo (signposted from exit Biandrate on the A4 Torino-Milano autostrada), just near the water theme park Ondaland, is Vicolungo Outlets, web site with massive discounts on a range of italian and other designer brands, all conveniently in one out-of-town location.

Further afield, you are just one hour from Milan, with its range of fashion boutiques and department stores (try the Via Montenapoleone just to see how the other half live!).  Ask for our directions to Lampugnano park-and-ride from where you can get on the metro, which is just a few stops to the beautiful Duomo, Galleria Vittoria Emanuele, many shops, and much more...

A large designer outlet with some 180 shops (the largest in Europe apparently) is Serravalle Designer Outlet, near Novi Ligure, about 80 minutes drive from Lake Orta (towards the coast).  Take Serravalle Scrivia exit from the Milan-Genova auostrada (A7), or the Novi Ligure exit on the short 'link' autostrada between the A26 and A7 (it is just called the A26/7).  Web site

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