Lake Orta
Lago d'Orta (Lake Orta), one of the great pre-alpine lakes of Northern Italy, located at the most western tip of the lakes, was in the past called "Cusius." It is located 290 m above sea level in a narrow, long basin surrounded at the east by a chain of mountains extending to Mount Mottarone (m 1491), which separate it from Lago Maggiore (Lake Maggiore), and at the west from the low mountain chain that separates it from Valsesia.
13 km long and 2, 5 km at its widest point, Lago D'Orta (Lake Orta) is one of the smallest basins of the pre-alpine lakes. Its maximum depth is 143 m in the still waters in front of Oira. It is fed by powerful underground springs as well as many short creeks, which include Pescone, Bagnella, Qualba, Pellino, Plesna and Lagna. Rather curiously, its emissary, the Nigoglia, exits the lake from the north near Omegna, rather than the south, the usual direction of all other pre-alpine lakes.
Lago d'Orta (Lake Orta) originates from glacial valleys; its basin took its shape, during the great glaciations of the quaternary, from the majestic Ossola glacier which, in those times, extended up to the area which is now Gozzano.
The presence of men in this area goes back to ancient times, as witnessed by the burial finding of the Iron Age (Lortallo). It is important to remember the Kelts were the first people to permanently settle around Lago Orta (Lake Orta). The arrival of Christianity is tied to the name and the work of Saints Giulio and Giuliano, Greek missionaries who came to this part of the world in the IV Century. During the Middle Ages, the area was dominated by the bishops of Novara. Their domination continued until the end of the XVIII Century. The calm waters, the vast woodlands and the picturesque villages along its coastline, rich in history and testimonies from the past, all contribute to create the lake's romantic and serene atmosphere.