Visit Lake Orta: The Sacro Monte at Orta (UNESCO Heritage site)

A delightful guided tour of the UNESCO Heritage site of the “Sacro Monte di San Francesco”, just above the village of Orta, with an unforgettable view of Lake Orta!

  • We will explore: The Sacro Monte at Orta (UNESCO Heritage Site since 2003).
  • When: the best time is from April to October.
  • 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: for a perfect experience we advise that groups should not exceed a max of 30/35 people per Guide. Larger groups are nonetheless accepted.
    Possibility to hire a Guided Tour System (receivers and disposable earphones).

Contact us

An unmissable stop for those who are visiting Lake Orta, which is located on top of the small peninsula of Orta. The Sacro Monte at Orta is amongst the most visited sites in the region, an enchanting place of remarkable artistic relevance inserted in a nature reserve of great beauty.
The guided tour includes a pleasurable half-hour walk* that commences from the imposing Villa Crespi - a 19th-century Moorish building with an unexpected exotic charm - and that will take us to the top of the Sacro Monte di Orta (Sacred Mount at Orta), a panoramic Baroque UNESCO Heritage site dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Order. The guided tour continues along the well-known 20 Chapels, all embellished between the 17th and 18th centuries with magnificent fresco-paintings and hundreds of polychrome terracotta statues that depict the life and the miracles of saint Francis of Assisi. The different panoramic views of Lake Orta and the beautiful Island of San Giulio are amazing: just get ready to take dozens of photos!
We will also pay a brief visit to the lovely local botanical garden, just next to the old guest house for pilgrims that houses today the office premises of the Sacro Monte institution.
The Sanctuary of the Sacro Monte and its panoramic terrace are the climax of our tour, an enchanting place of great charm and atmosphere.

* If you don’t feel like walking up to the Sacro Monte of Saint Francis, it is possible - upon previous request - to take the nice and comfortable Orta’s tourist train or a private taxi (additional charge).

Duration of this tour

The Guided Tour of the Sacro Monte di Orta can be covered in a Half Day (HD), the exact duration depending on the individual interest and time available. The minimum Duration of this tour is approximately 90 minutes, even if - in order to fully appreciate the tour in a relaxed fashion - we recommend at least 2 hours.
Many tourists decide, at the end of the guided visit of Sacro Monte, to walk down to the romantic village of Orta San Giulio for lunch or, if it’s afternoon, to have an aperitif and do a bit of shopping.
Your Guide will advise you on the practical aspects of your tour.

Possible combinations

The guided tour of the Sacro Monte at Orta can be easily combined with the nearby sites, namely the village of Orta and/or the island of San Giulio (see the Tour of the Island of San Giulio and the village of Orta).
Many travellers appreciate the combination of the Sacro Monte tour with one of the tours in the hills: Ortaeoltre provides really interesting ones! Choose your favourite one here below.