Riserva Speciale del Sacro Monte di Orta

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Protected Area

Identity Card

  • Land Surface Area (ha): 13,15
  • Lower altitude (m): 330
  • Higher altitude (m): 401
  • Regions: Piemonte
  • Provinces: Novara
  • Municipalities: Ameno, Gozzano, Orta San Giulio
  • Establishment Measures: LR 32 28/04/1980 - L.R. 19/2009
  • PA Official List: EUAP0360


Chapel XV

Sacro Monte di Orta Special Reserve

It is situated among the green forests at the top of the hill dominating Lake Orta. Sacro Monte counts 21 chapels built between the end of the 16th and the end of the 18th centuries with frescos and sculptures of terracotta about the life of St Francis.
If the paintings and the sculptures are an artistic heritage and were realized by skilled artists of that period (the Fiamminghini, Cristoforo Prestinari, Dionigi Bussola, and the Morazzone), the natural aspects of the area are not less interesting.
The promontory on which Sacro Monte d'Orta rises is made up of rocks which have been shaped by the glaciers of the Quaternary period. The flora is characterized by evergreens and by some characteristic mountain flora like the Blueberry. Among the arboreal species there are Scotch firs, yews, ash trees, and a beautiful avenue of centuries-old hornbeams facing the lake.


Sacro Monte d'Orta is situated at about 400 meters of height in a wonderful panoramic position over the settlement of Orta and the homonymous lake. The territory of the Reserve extends for 13 hectares divided into two different areas: the slopes of the hill dominated by broadleaf tree woods and the monumental area where the vegetation has always been taken care of as a historical garden.
The author of the project of Sacro Monte studied not only the route among the chapels, but also the environment and the vegetation: as a consequence, the unique relationship between nature, the lake, the green, and the chapels was created; a relationship which still characterizes Sacro Monte.

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