Zacchera Hotels

Tourism

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    LAGO D’ORTA E ISOLA SAN GIULIO

    The area around Lake Orta has long been a favorite tourists, thanks to the quiet beauty of the landscape, its fascinating history and its wealth of artistic treasures – principally Romanesque and Baroque architecture.
    Lake Orta lies to the west of Lake Maggiore, in the northern Italy. It is a minor star in the constellation of the subalpine lakes, but all the fascination and the history of the larger lakes seem to be concentrated in this short space.

    According to the legend, the Island of St. Giulio was dominated by a big serpent that destroyed everything. But when St. Giulio, that had the power to command over the waves, the storms, the wild animals and the human beings, arrived near the lake , waving his hand he chased away the dangerous menacing animal.

    He reached the Island journeying over the water on his cloack guided by his staff. The big reptile disappeared and St. Giulio, tired and near to his death, thought that the island was the right place to build his hundredth and last church dedicated to the Holy Apostles.

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    SANTUARIO DELLA MADONNA DEL SASSO

    One of the most spectacular sacred places of Lake Orta is surely the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rock (Madonna del Sasso) built near the hamlet of the same name on a huge granite rock-face overhanging the lake below. From here, there is anunsurpassed view dominating Lake Orta and the mountains on the eastern shore of the lake, including Mount Mottarone.

    This sacred complex, built in the early 1700s, on the site of a previous late medieval chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, is made up of the church, the bell-tower and the Priest’s House. The church, shaped like a Greek cross with circular apse is topped by a huge frescoed dome which projects an inlaid star onto the floor. The interior also houses a large pictorial cycle by Lorenzo Peracino, a painter and sculptor from Valsesia, who left evidence of his great talent in numerous churches in the Cusio and Ossola area.

    The high altar has a splendid Deposition of Christ dating from 1547, painted by Fermo Stella da Caravaggio, a pupil of Gaudenzio Ferrari. Of particular interest is the monumental 16th century organ which has 700 pipes and a keyboard of 58 keys.

    The Sanctuary of Madonna del Sasso is the finishing point of the hiking trail calledLe Valli della Fede (The Valleys of Faith), an itinerary which links the minor sanctuaries of the Central and Eastern Biella area with Lake Orta. This route is inspired by the one taken by Saint Charles Borromeo presumably several times during the years in which he was archbishop of Milan (1565-1584).