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Day Tour to
Dragon Island-
Orta San Giulio

Photo by Forella Bardone

Journey to island of dragons - Orta San Giulio.
Orta San Giulio, Novara, Piemonte, Italia

Orta San Giulio is a mysterious, romantic, peaceful town that impresses with its silence and measured pace of life at any time of the year. From the all-seeing eye of a tourist visiting Italy, he hid in a secluded corner on the shore of a small lake of the same name, behind the pass from his big brother - Lake Maggiore. Opposite the town, in the center of the lake, rises the same dragon island, where in the 4th century AD. Greek monk Julio, having fought and defeated evil serpents and dragons, built his hundredth Christian church.


Orta  is rightfully included in the list of the most beautiful cities in Italy; small straight-lined waterfront streets, narrow, with their magical power: narrow, straight-lined embankment streets , secluded romantic corners, immersed in greenery and flowers all year round, boat piers, soft waves of dark water and indescribable beauty panorama as if floating downstream of the island.


I will meet you in Arona and by car we will head towards Lake Orta. The tour will start from the religious complex Sacro Monte di Orta. The first buildings from the initiative of the Franciscan Order began here in 1590 on a steep. 20 chapels located in the forest in a certain order, the main church, more than 900 well-preserved frescoes and 375 sculptures; - they are all dedicated to the life of Francis of Assisi.  This is one of 9 famous  Holy Mountains, erected in the XIV-XV centuries throughout the arch of northwestern Italy to protect against the misfortunes coming from the north: plague and Lutheranism. The most picturesque places were chosen for their construction. Near the main church, there is an panoramic point with amazing views of the island of San Giulio and Lake Orta.


Going down the mountain along the medieval streets, we will get to the central square of Horta. After taking caffe' and we  go with small boat to the Island. You will hear the famous legend of this ancient island, visit the Basilica of San Giulio, where the relics of the saint are kept, walk on the only street of the island bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ past characteristic houses and the episcopal palace. The inhabitants of this strange piece of land live in silence, calmness and meditation. The whole atmosphere of the island, its history, architecture, nature and the Benedictine convent located on the island, like nothing else, contribute to philosophical reflection.


Returning to Horta, we will walk along small winding streets with numerous cafes, restaurants, art shops and souvenir shops. And finally, we will definitely try the delicious Italian gelato artigianale ice cream,   admiring how the dragon island plunges into twilight.

180 euro
for 1-2 persons

220 euro
for a group of 3 to 5 people

4-5 hours from the moment of meeting in Arona
(+1 hour train ride
from Milan)

all year around

 by foot,
with car and a boat
Difficulty of the ROUTE:
 about 5 km,
elevation change while walking
- 80 m.

Arona railway station
or by arrangement

car transfer,
boat ticket
including for the guide, 
personal expenses

Photo by Fiorella Bardone

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