Orta lake: Piedmont best lake is a completely different thing compared to other lakes. Also called Cusio, it is a brave little lake, which reached the pinnacle of fame with the 1941 film with Alida Valli. The beauty is that we are not entirely located in Valsesia, but rather we are approaching Val D’Ossola. Lake Orta carries with it the aftermath of a past from which it inherits saints, sacred mountains, partisans and an “Iron Age” that has concentrated the world’s most prestigious household and appliance brands in the area. Writers, directors, nuns, sportsmen and even a starred chef like Antonino Cannavacciuolo have, in modern times, elected little Cusio as their home. And to visit Lake Orta you could start from Omegna up to San Giulio to reach the apex of the Sacro Monte and enjoy it to the full.
WHY VISIT ORTA DA OMEGNA
It is beautiful to look at Lake Orta from the perspective of Omegna, where the lake looks like a small ink stain that barely widens compared to the “calligraphy” of the river. Yet, as Gianni Rodari said, among the “VIPs” of Cusio, “In the beginning the land was all wrong” and therefore it even seems that the river flows in the opposite direction.
Omegna is a village with many stories: there are not only culture and imagination with Gianni Rodari, but also history, with the partisan Filippo Beltrami, the iron industry and its district and the epic of Lagostina, Girmi, Bialetti and Alessi. Here an artificial waterfall brings together the waters of the river and the lake and the town revolves all around this flowery passage that gives shape to Largo Cobianchi. On one side, colorful houses with irregular profiles wind their way through arcades and shops to the Collegiate Church of Sant’Ambrogio in Piazza Beltrami, which boasts frescoes from 1547 on the patron saints of Cusio and then down to the house of Rodari, at 56 in via Mazzini.
VISIT LAKE ORTA FROM OMEGNA TO SAN GIULIO UP TO THE SACRED MONTE
The other side of the village is outlined by a walkway suspended over the stream: a modern invention, which allows an ancient gesture, that of chatting with those who, from the houses, look out onto the back balconies, between clothes hanging and flowers in the sun. Following the promenade overlooking the Nigoglia, we arrive at the “Parco della fantasia” which manages to combine the inventions of Rodari’s “cosmogony” with the industrial vocation of this proud corner of Piedmont.