Casa Vacanze Orta San Giulio

Lake Orta Vacation Rentals

 

Casa Vacanze Orta San Giulio

Lake Orta Vacation Rentals

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Orta San Giulio (NO) - Italy
info@casavacanzeorta.com

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8. MONTORFANO

Casa Vacanze Orta San Giulio  -  Made by FLAZIO |COOKIE POLICY|PRIVACY POLICY|

8. MONTORFANO

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Starting and arrival point: Mergozzo (199 m a.s.l.)
Major points of interest: Mergozzo, Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Path), Church of San Giovanni in Montorfano, Montorfano, fortifications of the "Cadorna Line", Archaeological Museum of Mergozzo.
Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Path): nice and easy one hour walk from Mergozzo to the Church of San Giovanni in Montorfano (2 hours round trip).


Our tour begins at the quaint little harbor in the village of Mergozzo, facing the small lake which bears the same name. In Piazza Cavour, looking at the lake we head to the right, following the direction "Sentiero Azzurro" (Blue Path) which, after Via Nostrani, climbs the hill along Via Montorfano. Going straight on we follow the signs for "San Giovanni/Montorfano": the trail becomes a pleasant pedestrian path winding through the woods along the hillside of the western shore of the lake. Along the way we can find some information panels illustrating the main natural and historical features of the territory, and the work of the stonecutters that from the 16th century extract from the mountain the precious white granite to embellish the buildings throughout Italy.
After a walk of about 45 minutes (2.1 km) the Blue Trail ends, coming out on the paved Via Montorfano which we follow uphill to the right until we reach the hamlet of San Giovanni, a fabulous and quiet village embellished by the famous Romanesque church (11th-12th century), object of recent archaeological excavations that discovered an early Christian complex of (4th-5th century). We cross the village heading south, until we reach a nice vantage point from which we can enjoy a beautiful view of Lake Maggiore, near the inflow of the river Toce.
We retrace our steps to the parking lot and then follow the direction for "Mergozzo vetta" (summit). The trail starts to climb quickly, getting quite challenging with a vertical drop of over 450 m in just 2 km and some stretches with steps. Along the way we find an old "lizza", a stone paved slide used by the stonecutters to bring the granite extracted from the side of the mountain down to the lake shore, where it would have then loaded on special barges.
From the top of Montorfano (794 m a.s.l.), besides the superb view over the lakes and the Ossola region, enhanced by the solitary nature of the summit, we can see some trenches that are part of the massive early 20th century defensive system of fortifications known as "Cadorna Line". To descend we go south-west, along a path that after a while becomes a mule track. At km 7.0 we reach an old shooting range and a little further on we turn left towards the entrance of the powder magazine, a complex of tunnels dug into the mountain to hide weapons and ammunitions, that can be visited with a flashlight. Its entrance is located to the right of the two-level barracks set against the rocky wall.
We continue descending along the western slope of the mountain until we reach again the village of Mergozzo, where we can admire the typical narrow streets and visit the important Archaeological Museum in Via Roma, where there are exposed many ancient artifacts found in the Verbano-Cusio-Ossola area.

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