Palazzo Acquarello, Orta San Giulio
Orta S. Giulio lies just to the west of Lake Maggiore and is a medieval center of rare beauty. This area of Piemonte has maintained its modesty and it’s harmony between the richness of the past and the curiosity of the present. Once the exclusive summer resort of the Italian and foreign upper class , it is now a place of relaxation and peace offering a chance to find renewal amongst the irresistible charm of this enchanting lake and the surrounding villages.
Once in the piazza, attention is immediately captured by the strict lines of a renaissance construction, il Palazzo della Comunità della Riviera (1582), symbol of the independent government of this community.
From the main square you can walk up to the church of Assunta built in 1485, and continuing along this road you will arrive at the foot of the Sacra Monte, an extraordinary masterpiece of Baroque Art, now part of UNESCO’s world heritage made up of twenty chapels built in the midst of beech and evergreen woods dedicated to the life of Saint Francesco (1590).
From Piazza Motta the boats depart for the island of San Giulio: legend tells that the saint conquered snakes and dragons before constructing a romantic basilica (in 390), now on this small island you can find a Benedictine Monastery where worship and silence are respected. It only comes to life on the 31st of January when the patron saint is honored and the nuns distribute bread with chocolate to those present.