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“Beauty, peace and sparkling lake” 5 of 5 stars
Review of San Giulio Island

San Giulio Island
Orta San Giulio, 28016 Orta San Giulio, Italy
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Type: Bodies of Water, Landmarks
Attraction details
Melrose, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
“Beauty, peace and sparkling lake”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

Take a little boat from Orta San Giullo piazza. 5 euro per adult is good value and the boats leave for the island every ten minutes or so.

As you go around the island in the boat you will see a wooden jetty on the northern shoreline. Make a note of it as we dangled our feet in the cool, sparkling water and next week I will remember to take my swimming stuff for a return trip, using this quiet jetty as my bathing point.

You get off at the main pier and there is a circular walk around the island. It's quaint, narrow and very, very peaceful. No cars here. Most of the big villas have monopolised the waterfront but there are a number of alleys to explore with superb views when you emerge by the lake.

There is only one restaurant on the island. Reviews by journalists in the British press say the menu is over complicated, which it definitely is. We didn't want a complex lunch but we noticed that the restaurant had a board outside advertising panini and other lite bites, which we hadn't expected. So we went through and they explained that the front rows of tables, neatly set, were for full dining. The rear tables, away from the lakeside, were for snackers like us. They're a bit austere by comparison. For us that's fine but others seemed a bit annoyed and left. I get the logic but I guess it's also an emotional thing for some. One party complained that they felt like poor relations and promptly left. For our part, it was ok but nothing more. I would suggest bringing some of your own filled rolls and enjoying them on the little jetty instead!

Complete your circular walk and wait by the pier in the shade for the return boat. We didn't enter the church for personal reasons but that would lengthen a visit if that's your thing.

For us, the highlight was the little jetty, playing cards while dangling our feet in the cool water, being bobbed up and down every time the wash from a boat arrived, the peace and reading our books in such beautiful surroundings.

A recommended half day excursion and not very expensive.

Arianne.

Visited July 2013
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London
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Gorgeous little island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

We took the speedboat from Orta SG and arrived in 5 minutes. There are so many photo opportunities from the moment you step off the boat. Only one hotel, one restaurant and one tourist shop but the lady in the tourist shop there is lovely.
There is a Benedictine monastery where the nuns have a vow of silence and there are signs as you walk along the narrow alleyways with words of wisdom on the subject. You can find a place to paddle off the rocks, see exotic plants flowering, the duck with her ducklings, visit the Church with beautiful frescoes, see the local children playing football in the shade and wonder at the history that started on this island and shaped the locality.
A magic place to visit.

Visited July 2013
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Portland, OR
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Boring”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

Nice boat ride to the island. We walked the circumference of the island which did not provider much to look at. It was rather boring.

Visited June 2013
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Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“An island of peace and solitude”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

A picture postcard island, a short ferry ride from Orta San Guilio. It has a beautiful church and monastery where a closed order of nuns lives. It is a short walk around the island which is only 250 metres long - a serene and peaceful place.

Visited June 2013
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Swansea
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

A short trip across the bay from Orta San Giulio, Isola San Giulio is worth a visit. View back to Orta is splendid.A stroll along the Way of Silence is pleasant and interesting. Meal @ the Ristorante is excellent value for money 18 Euros for 3 courses including coffee and a pitcher of wine.

Visited June 2013
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