Hotel La Sibilla Cusiana, Pettenasco ***
This attractive hotel in Piedmont (Piemonte) has a relaxed, nautical feel. Hotel La Sibilla Cusiana is located in Pettenasco, on the eastern shores of Lake Orta; this lies a short distance away from Lake Maggiore, with its excellent facilities. View hotel
Double rooms from €90
Hotel Croce Bianca, near Novara ***
This comfortable three-star hotel in Novara province is located in the little town of Omegna, which lies at the northern tip of Lake Orta. Orta is one of the region's prettiest and most unspoilt lakes. View hotel
Double rooms from €50
Hotel Giardinetto, Pettenasco ***
This attractive hotel in Piedmont lies on the shores of Lake Orta in a peaceful setting behind a bank of fir trees. The charming medieval village of Orta San Giulio is just a few kilometres away and the area is full of nature trails and golf courses, with the abundant... View hotel
Double rooms from €75
Pettenasco sits on the eastern shores of Lake Orta (Lago d'Orta) in the Novara province of Piedmont region. One of the less discovered delights of northern Italy's Lake District, Orta is even referred to by the locals as the 'Cinderella' of the Italian lakes, keeping its charms somewhat to itself. It's much loved by the Italians though, who journey up for weekend retreats from Milan and Turin. Orta is the most westerly of the Italian Lakes, a near neighbour to the much larger and more popular Lake Maggiore.
Neighbouring towns include Armeno, Miasino, Orta San Giulio and Omegna, and Pettenasco has a permanent population of around 1300 people, having grown in popularity as a permanent home (and vacation destination) in the last decade or so. Pettenasco depopulated somewhat after World War II (in common with much of Italy) but visitors are increasingly cottoning on to a town that offers all the charm and beautiful scenery of the Italian Lakes, without the crowds (and the prices) of Lake Como and Lake Maggiore. Having rather foolishly let the cat out of the bag therefore, we advise you to go and enjoy one of northern Italy's hidden delights. You are within easy reach of the Swiss border here, and on the borders of Piedmont and Lombardy regions (two of Italy's finest for sumptuously rich cuisine, and with very good local wines too).