Love In Lake Orta

Wow. Let’s not talk about how long it’s been since I wrote a post. I have a pretty good excuse though, I was away getting MARRIED! That’s right ladies and gents, you can officially call me Signora Small (technically we are only married in Italy until we get our paper work).

We were married in lovely Lake Orta which is an amazing lakeside town in Northern Italy. It is said to be the most romantic of all the Alpine lakes and I couldn’t agree more. I won’t overload you with wedding photos; I am sure you don’t care to look at them 2 times a day like I do. Instead I’ll just show you one, so you can see our lovely venue, Villa Bossi, where we had our civil ceremony on April 26th, 2013. If you ever get married in Italy, make sure you look up Valentina at SposiamoVi; our wedding was truly amazing thanks to her wonderful planning. Also a big thanks to the very talented, Independent Pictures Photography, for capturing the best moment of our lives!Small Wedding, Lake Orta, Italy If you ever get the chance to visit Northern Italy, I beg you to visit this little lakeside town. Only, 45 minutes north of Milan, it is easily reached by car and train.  From the moment we drove down the hill side and saw the pristine waters of the charming little lake, we were in love. Perfectly situated at the base of the Italian Alps, we could even see snow on the mountain tops in spring. Lake Orta, ItalyLake Orta, Italy As we walked down the tiny cobble stone streets of Orta San Guillio, we were greeted be the wonderful people and lovely sights of the little town. To say it is the most romantic of all the Italian Lakes, is an understatement. I was so filled with happiness that my heart felt as if it was bursting out of my chest. The charm and wonder of this place had a euphoric effect, something I had never experienced before on our previous adventures. Cobble Stone Streets, Lake OrtaLake Orta, St. Julius Island There was even a darling little train that carried guests down one of the hill tops, through the cobbled streets and to the main square of the village. Lake Orta Train  Lake Orta, PiazaPiazza Moto, Orta San Giulio Lake Orta, Italy From Piazza Motta Orta San Giulio, you can take a boat to the lovely island, Saint Julius Island, where you can see the Basilica of Saint Giulio which has since been converted into a Benedictine monastery. Boat to Isola San Giulio Isola San Giulio There is a great restaurant on the Island, Ristoro S. Giulio where you can stop for lunch or dinner. Past the island, on the other side of the lake is Sacro Monte di Orta, a Roman Catholic complex which houses lovely art work and has stunning views of the lake below. Sacro Monte di Orta As you walk through the main streets of Lake Orta, make sure you stop buy the little shops where you can get amazing souvenirs. My favorite shop is a little sandwich and specialty food store, where you can grab an excellent lunch and things like pasta, olive oil and balsamic vinegar to take home. Lunch in Lake Orta  If you keep walking through the village, you will come across Villa Bossi, the Municipality of Lake Orta. It was also the venue for our wedding ceremony. From the charming courtyard, you can see lovely views of St. Julius Island.Villa Bossi, Lake Orta ItalyVilla Bossi, Lake Orta Italy The best restaurant in Lake Orta is with out a doubt, L’Ustaria Ca Dal Rat which roughly translated means, The House Of The Mouse. It is where Chris and I had our wedding reception. With lovely views and EXCEPTIONAL food, it is a must stop in Lake Orta. Make sure you order the Red Potato Gnocchi Gorgonzola, it is the best gnocchi I have EVER had. L'Ustaria Ca Dal Rat, Lake Orta Italy Hopefully you get a chance to visit this lovely little lake in Northern Italy.  IMG_9867

9 responses to “Love In Lake Orta

  1. Thank you for your quick reply. Ok that makes sense…I do like the thought of having strangers excited on your day :) reminds me of a scene from Love Actually lol. We are hoping to book 4pm on 10th July (a Friday) which is just before the summer holidays start in the UK (not sure about Italy). We do have a planner in mind however would really appreciate your recommendations whilst we are out there. We too have fallen in love with your reception venue xxx

    • Our wedding planner was Valentina from SposiamoVi and Italian Lake Weddings. Her email address is valentina.torino@sposiamovi.it

      If you are choosing Lake Orta, I can promise she is the best wedding planner for the location. We loved working with her. She has wonderful relationships with all the vendors.

      I hope you have a wonderful wedding!

      • That is perfect thank you! Sorry to keep asking questions it is just so nice to hear from a bride who has experienced Orta. DO you mind me asking you where you and your guests stayed? And did you have a 2nd day event i.e. around the lake etc? xxx

        • No worries! We stayed at Hotel Leon del Oro, right on the water in the main courtyard. Pros: Near everything, great views and the largest suite is a great room to get ready in. Cons: we had a rowdy American group of 35 staying with us, we caused several noise complaints as our guests were partying well into the night every night we were staying there. The two older woman who own the hotel started off kind and charming, but by the end of the trip they were very rude to our guests. Worst of all they TRIED to charge us for an additional room for 3 days because another guest refused to pay their bill due to the noise, so they claimed we were responsible. Needless to say after we booked almost every room in the hotel, spent a huge sum renting out most of the hotel we were appalled that they asked us to pay more for a guest who wasn’t even part of the party. We did not pay for the additional room and we were asked to never come back. When we visit again, we will stay at Hotel San Rocco or Villa Crespi, two hotels which I highly recommend. I got ready at Hotel San Rocco on my wedding day and we had the honeymoon suite there and it was wonderful. Great views, great service and no cranky old ladies. Villa Crespi is an amazing hotel but further from the water than I like to be.

          For our wedding reception I highly recommend Usteria Cal da Rat. It is the best food, service and location in Lake Orta. For our rehearsal dinner, we scheduled a boat tour with cocktails around the lake and then we had dinner at the restaurant on the island. It was supposed to be a private dinner on the patio, however, there were a few other people dinning; that would be my only complaint.

  2. We are currently planning our 2015 wedding here and cannot wait to visit next month. One question that I am hoping you do not mind answering, Villa Bossi when you get married there can members of the public stand in the courtyard? I have seen some pics online where it seems as though random people are standing towards the back whilst the wedding takes place xxxx

    • Hi Jennie,

      Yes, part of the civil ceremony in Italy, not just Villa Bossi, is that you are married in a public place. When I arrived to our wedding I had Italians cheering for me and taking pictures. I definitely wasn’t expecting to have so many bystanders but in the end, it made it very exciting to have such an enthusiastic entrance. My suggestion would be to have your wedding on a less busy day. You can talk to your wedding planner about this. We were married on a holiday weekend so Lake Orta and Villa Bossi were crowded. They heard the music playing and were drawn to see what was going on. I have seen other weddings where there were no bystanders so it is something you can plan for by choosing your date and time wisely. I hope that answers your question. If you don’t have a wedding planner yet. I’d be happy to pass along the information for mine. She was wonderful. Congrats on the upcoming wedding!

  3. Wow! What a beautiful place to be married. I am so happy for the two of you. Tell Chris that Vy (Stephanie’s mom) says hi.

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