Normally, when I awaken to a grey, misty, and wet day, I tend to get a little disappointed, especially when traveling in a place for a limited amount of time. That was not the case in Orta San Giulio. All it took to make me appreciate the day’s weather conditions was one look outside of the living room window. The lake, and the small island that sits in the middle of it, were shrouded in a fine grey mist, which gave the whole scene a strange sort of tranquil beauty. It was mysterious and heartwarming, at the same time. I could have sat and looked at the view for hours. Of course, with the advance of the day, the sky brightened a bit, and the fog began to lift.
We took advantage of a break in the weather, to head outside for a walk.
As we walked through the town, we came upon a wonderful little shop, Profumo di Orta, which sells homemade soaps, perfumes, oils, and similar items.
We later stumbled upon the Oratorio del Sacro Cuore di Gesù, and took a moment to walk through the small garden, in the rear of the building. The oratorio itself did not seem to be open.
The Chiesa dei Santi Bernardino e Marta dates from before 1458, but was reconstructed in 1700. Being at the end of a side street, hidden from most of the regular tourist traffic, this church is easily overlooked by most people, when visiting Orta San Giulio. Do yourself a favor, and seek it out! It is beautiful!
For dinner that night, we went to the enoteca Al Boeuc, a small wine bar, which we had passed earlier, when we were exploring the town. While the menu is extremely limited, with one or two plates each night, the food and the wine were excellent, and we had a wonderful time. We ordered a bottle of local red wine, with a plate of carne cruda and bagna càuda, the latter being a specialty of the area, and a dish that I highly recommend ordering, if you happen to see it on a menu. It is a very simple dish, which when described, sounds boring. But, once you taste it, you will change your mind. It consists of some sliced, raw vegetables (celery, carrots, zucchini, peppers), which are served with a warm dip, made of garlic and anchovies. You dip the veggies into the dish, and then eat. I cannot tell you how delicious this is, when it is prepared correctly! And, here, at Al Boeuc, they prepare it perfectly! I cannot wait to return there some day, to order it again!
Next up: We head down to Sicily, where our first stop is the city of Palermo!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations that may appear. If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from Orta San Giulio, as well as other Italian destinations. Grazie!