Within the Sacro Monte d'Orta there is a devotional route which, by following the paths lined with trees, links the twenty chapels dedicated to the life of San Francesco; it does not present any difficulties and can be gone through by persons of any age: it takes about 45 minutes if you do not stop to observe the chapels, while the complete visit takes about two hours.
In order to make the route for the pilgrims easier, some little hands have been painted in fresco on the façade of the chapels: they still help the visitor by giving him the correct direction to follow.
Maps and itineraries of Sacro Monte Orta (Italian text)
From the country ward of Lortallo you can leave the car and go on foot up to the Monastery, which is situated on the summit.
Here there is the beginning of a paved "Via Crucis", completed by 14 chapels which, if you are on foot, leads you in about twenty minutes to the Monastery.
Another route, less steep, begins in the same point and, by running along the southern slope of the hill, by going across ancient terraced grounds which are nowadays colonized by chestnut groves, climbs in about twenty minutes to the summit (chestnut grove path).
Another well-signalled path (stream path) gives you the opportunity to follow the course of the Rio Membra and of the stream Agogna and to follow a ring-route running along the slopes of the hills of Monte Mesma. The Romanesque bridge over the stream Membra and the rests of an 18th-century blacksmith's forge along the Agogna valley are particularly interesting.
Moreover, there is another Via Crucis descending from the summit of the hill towards the settlement of Bolzano Novarese: it takes about twenty minutes on foot.
It is also possible to reach the Monastery by car along the narrow asphalt road reaching in about 1,200 meters the small parking area situated on the summit (coaches are not allowed).
Maps and itineraries of Monte Mesma (Italian text)
There is a route called "sentiero Azzurro", linking the three protected areas, which can be gone through on foot in about three hours. There are no great differences in height, and it is the only entirely cycling route existing in the area.
From Sacro Monte d'Orta go down to the SS road Lago d'Orta: go beyond it and take the first road on the right (via Francisca) and follow it up to the settlement of Corconio.
Go ahead in the direction of Torre di Buccione, by running along the railway line for about one kilometer. Once you are at the foot of the hill follow the SP road for about two hundred meters, then take the path climbing on the right in the direction of Colle del Monte Mesma.
Once you reach the Via Crucis climbing from Bolzano Novarese, follow it up to the big chapel of Addolorata, where the descent begins along the Chestnut grove path. Go ahead in the direction of Lortallo; go beyond the town and, by going down in the direction of Orta, take again Via Francisca.
Maps and itineraries of Colle della Torre di Buccione (Italian text)