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“Gorgeous” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of San Giulio Island

San Giulio Island
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Private Tour of Orta San Giulio on Lake Orta
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2013

Must visit and find out more of the history. If you hire a speed boat you can dock no problem. Take your camera with you, full of history to capture

Visited July 2013
Thank Ann D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Truly beautiful”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2013

This was an absolutely stunning little place - one of the prettiest places I've ever seen, and somewhere off the beaten track. Most people tend to head to Lake Como or the other more popular spots, but this was a hidden gem and somewhere I would definitely recommend visiting on any trip to Italy. The village of Orta itself is very picturesque with a stunning outlook onto the island and it wasn't overly busy the day I went - the township is a haven for small convents and a monastery, so expect some quintessentially Italian experiences of nuns wandering quietly through small, cobblestone streets. Have a delicious lunch at one of the local delis and cool off in the clear waters of the lake.

Visited June 2013
Thank Sam_22O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Novara, Italy
Level Contributor
30 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A special place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2013

The island hosts a small Basilica and a monastery, besides several private homes that leave no room for wildness. It can be reached within a bare 10 minutes boat journey from the amazingly characteristic centre of Orta. The stony pulpit in the church is a relevant piece of the 14th century Lombard art. There is something more than beauty and cosiness on the island as a special atmosphere makes this visit a unique experience.

Visited October 2012
Thank Mauro B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melrose, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
89 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 176 helpful votes
“Beauty, peace and sparkling lake”
5 of 5 bubbles 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.


Visited July 2013
4 Thank Arianne1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
47 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Gorgeous little island”
5 of 5 bubbles 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
1 Thank Chris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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