Orta San Giulio (NO) rises at the tip of a promontory that extends into Lake d’Orta from the East.
The entirely pedestrianised centre of Orta features narrow, cobbled alleys, squares, decorated palaces, Baroque churches, and towers. The heart of the town, piazza Motta overlooks the lake and is the departure point for boats to the nearby Island of St. Giulio, also part of the municipal territory. There are porticoes on three sides of the square. The northern side features the Broletto, or Palazzo della Comunità, which dates to 1582.
Facing the broletto is the wide uphill road, known as “Motta”, which is entirely paved in stone and flanked by ancient noble residences from the 14th to 18th centuries, including the 17th century Palazzo Gemelli. Salita della Motta ends at the Parish Church of Our Lady of the Assumption (1485).
One of the most significant residences in town is Villa Bossi, the present location of the municipal offices, which is accessed by a small wrought iron gate on the main throughfare of the village. The villa has a pretty garden which overlooks the lake.