Lake Orta from above: breathtaking views from “Balcony of Cusio”

An exciting experience in the hills, with spectacular views over Lake Orta, alongside a visit to the imposing Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sasso, reachable on board the comfortable local tourist train, the "Trenino di Pella"!

  • We will explore: after a scenic journey in the hills, we’ll explore the interior of the Sanctuary of Madonna del Sasso and enjoy the breathtaking view from its terrace. The watchword is relaxation!
  • When: the best time is from May to October (better on weekdays!).
  • Where is lake Orta: Europe - Northwestern Italy - Piedmont Region - Province of Novara - Area of the Italian Lakes (just west of Lake Maggiore).
  • Distance from cities: 25 mi. (40 km) from NOVARA / 50 mi. (81 km) from COMO / 53 mi. (85 km) from MILAN / 78 mi. (125 km) from TURIN.
  • Practicalities
  • Your guide: Cosetta Dal Cin, a Licensed Tour Guide and Art Historian, or one of the knowledgeable Tour Guides collaborating with Ortaeoltre.
  • Important: Besides the Pella’s “Trenino”, you can reach the Sanctuary by car /van (max 8 people) or by taxi. Groups should not exceed a max of 30 people.
    Tourist Train Tickets must be booked in advance. Payment on the spot.
    Possibility to hire a Guided-Tour system (receivers and disposable earphones).

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This half-day panoramic tour on the west coast of Lake Orta will leave you speechless!
In less than half an hour from Pella - just opposite Orta - you will reach, on board the comfortable tourist train "Trenino di Pella", the most panoramic spot on the entire lake, known as "Il Balcone del Cusio", or the Balcony of Cusio, (638 m. / 2100 ft. asl) for the extraordinary views it provides, not only of the lake and the Island. On a clear day, you can in fact see all the way to Milan’s towering skyscrapers!
On top of a vertical rocky spur - once an important quarry of white granite - stands the grandiose Sanctuary dedicated to the Madonna del Sasso (the Holy Vergin of the Rock), all decorated inside with rich late-baroque frescoes. This church was renovated in the early 18th century mainly thanks to the generosity of the local entrepreneur Pietro Paolo Minola, who worked in Milan in the shoemaking trade. His successful story is truly engaging and reveals a permanent deep emotional connection with his homeland. After a detailed description of the amazing views before you, your guide will take you inside the impressive sanctuary, fully decorated with Baroque wall paintings, where a miraculous small Virgin Mary statue is on permanent display.
At the end of the visit, the Trenino di Pella takes us back down to the lake shore, in the picturesque village of Pella. From its lovely and airy square you’ll enjoy one of the best views of the Island San Giulio.

Duration of this tour

This exciting tour lasts approximately 2 hours. It includes the scenic ascent on board the local Tourist Train from Pella - a nice lakeside village on the west coast - to the Sanctuary of Madonna del Sasso. Once arrived you’ll enjoy a spectacular view from a spacious grassy terrace, then you’ll visit the Church and its treasures. The return journey on tourist train lasts about 20 minutes.

Possible combinations

This Half-Day tour with expert Guide can be combined with a visit to the Island of San Giulio and/or to the picturesque village of Orta.
Other combinations will be directly suggested by your Tour Guide.