#36 / A break from the crowds

#36 / A break from the crowds - Marco Moreo Milano

I must confess, I've travelled much more this year than ever before. It’s easy to do: just use your mind! #awalkwithMarco, the Italian tour full of imagination, has been a really great idea… And it's a good thing no one can stop me from dreaming! So let's set off. Are you ready? Let’s go!

After Varese and Como, I chose another lake destination to enjoy with you this Sunday – perhaps less well-known, but quite charming: we’re visiting Lake Orta today ;)

We're in Piedmont, in the province of Novara, not far from the border with Lombardy: it’s a nice spot I often escape to when I want a break from the crowds and a chance to take a step back into an atmosphere of past times. Do you ever feel like that? 

First stop: Orta San Giulio. It’s listed as one of Borghi più belli d’Italia (“the most beautiful villages in Italy”), and it really looks like something out of a fairytale. The maze of cobbled alleys full of medieval buildings, restaurants and shops summoning you with their delicious scents, the beautiful Piazza Motta overlooking the lake, the small characteristic loggia of Broletto – the old market –, the pier… It looks like a pencil drawing brought to life with watercolours. 

The idyllic painting is then completed with the expanse of the lake, its slow, languid rhythms and classic, twinkling reflections: a duck, a magnolia branch, the hull of a boat, the pier of a villa, or San Giulio Island, perfectly balanced on its perch in the middle of the lake.

As is often the case in Italy, this small enchanted island is also a place for meditation, and for prayer for the religious. As soon as you reach the island, a staircase leads to the Romanesque Basilica and a path that circles around the island. Guess what it's called? The Path of Silence and Meditation: the ideal destination for me!!

I’m tempted to ask the nuns who live in the beautiful Benedictine abbey – the only people to live on the island since 1973 – if I can stay for a few days… Can you even imagine how much creativity I'd unleash by staying here?! I'm only kidding: also because they're cloistered nuns ;)

Let’s go back to the mainland and explore one of the food shops that tempted me with those inviting scents… Mmmm, it seems like time for a mortadella binge! After the liver version of Lake Como, I have no choice but to try the Orta mortadella too: there are two versions, one raw and one cooked. I've got a great idea! I'll have them split a sandwich in half and taste them both! Yum!

Stuffed and happy, it’s time to come back to reality now: but was it a dream or did it actually happen? 

I’ll see you next time; I can’t wait to show you another beautiful lake! Ciao for now!