Orta and the legend of Saint Jules
Orta is a jewel situated to the west of
; a little piece
of Piedmont that inspired poets and philosophers like Balzac
and Nietzsche . Its characteristic corners, the beauty of the
surrounding green mountains
, the island of St. Jules in close proximity to the land,
together with the tranquillity of the landscape,
picturesque setting. Our tour starts
highlighting the typical architectural structures, like:
the large use of wrought ironwork and,
balconies made precious by stucco.
by ferry to the island of St.
described by legend ,
the island was
originally infested by dragons and serpents
later delivered from evil by St.
The island was
consecrated to him, thanks to the construction of his hundredth church .
Afterwards, we visit
the Romanesque Basilica, drawing our attention to the marvellous ambo
a short walk through the only promenade on
2.Orta's Sacro Monte (Sacred
A marvellous place situated
top of the promontory of old Orta, The Sacro Monte is a great
composition of architecture ( 20 chapels) sculpture ( 376 statues, human
size) and painting (900 frescoes) that together with the uncontaminated Sacro Monte
Nature Reserve ,
create an enraptured setting. In 1583 Orta's community decided on the
construction of this holy place and dedicated it to Saint Francis of Assisi, in order to develop pilgrimages in Italy.
3."Rice and wine"
This tour draws our
attention both to artistic features of the territory and also to the typical
oeno-gastronomic productions , primarily rice-growing. We start with a
walk to the centre of the town of Novara, discovering palaces
decorated by statues , low relieves and sculptures dedicated to
agriculture. Then, we visit a rice-mill, to learn the many working processes of
cultivated rice. The tour continues to the hills of the Province (
Ghemme and Romagnano villages), for the tasting of local wines, together
with local dishes (risottos, sausages, cheeses, meats, etc..)
4.The Middle Ages : the Sacred and Profane
with the visit to
the “ San Nazzaro Sesia” Abbey , situated in
a little village to the southwest of Novara; a real masterpiece of
fortified construction belonging to the mediaeval period. The protecting
walls , the moat and the high
Romanesque belfry draw our attention to
the rule of the Bishop,
the time owned large swaths of the
countryside and who charged farmers
to cultivate the fields. Then
,we transfer to the hills and visit the mediaeval fortified
constructions in Ghemme, built to shelter stores of food and livestock
during the incursion of enemies . Finally, we
proceed to a typical winery for the tasting of “Ghemme”
and “Colline Novaresi” wines.
The wines are sampled
with local cheeses
and sausages. The tour
ends with a
visit to cellars .
Novara , a fruitful land between
the “ Sesia" and
rivers, has always been considered a
because of its strategic position.
Inhabited just before the arrival of the Romans,it was often a battlefield
between internal factions
and was subject to incursions by enemies.
In order to fully appreciate
the artistic and cultural influence of the town of Novara, one must
understand its history. Our tour therefore centers on the neo classicism
of the XIX century and develops through the architectural and decorative
details of town's buildings, together with the historical events linked
to them. We highlight all the projects of Alessandro Antonelli, the most
famous local architect who was appreciated by the Savoy and completed
work for them in Turin.