Saturday, January 09, 2010

Largo d'Orta

Isola San Guilio at Largo d'Orta

Click on the image for a larger view (or if you have a big monitor even better here is a full screen version).

This photo here from Wikipedia was the reason to go to Orta San Guilio when looking for a place in the Piemont to hang out over the Christmas days of 2009. We didn't regret it (despite no internet and a rocky train ride).

From The Independent:
Lake Orta, one of the smallest and least-known of northern Italy's sub-Alpine lakes, is a place for sublime moments. The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who visited the lake in May 1882 and believed that the experience changed his life forever, inscribed the date "von Orta an" ("from Orta onwards") as a preface to his masterpiece Thus Spake Zarathustra. Other 19th-century writers enchanted by its quiet beauty include the French novelist Honoré de Balzac, who wrote rapturously of this "grey pearl in a green jewel-box"...

Strangely, despite such praise, Orta seems nowadays to have become rather a secret place - so secluded that many Italians have never heard of it. But to those who know its fairy-tale setting, the lake is Cenerentola (Cinderella): the beautiful, self-effacing maiden ordered to stay at home while her flashy elder sisters go to the ball. As visitors flock eastwards to the comparative fleshpots of the nearby, much larger Lake Maggiore, pretty Orta offers altogether quieter, more mystical pleasures.

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