Villa Sole is located on the eastern shoreline of Lake Orta. Villa Sole is above and overlooking the lake; it is not on the lake shore. A steep stepped path leads from the villa down to the lakeshore road (approx. 150 metres/five to ten minutes walking, but it is also possible to reach the shore by car). It sits on the edge of the small village of Crabbia, 3 km from Orta San Giulio, the lake's principal town. It offers guests an opportunity to enjoy beauty and nature in a peaceful setting.
Lake Orta is simply fascinating and inspiring. The lake has always been popular with writers. In the 19th century, Friedrich Nietzsche, Samuel Butler..., Lord Byron, Honoré de Balzac and Robert Browning all came here. This is thanks in part to the picturesque architecture, in part to the enchanting San Giulio island, but most of all to the intimate drama of its setting: the way mountains, weather and light are forever in counterpoint to the water itself. Indeed, it is astonishing how few people - even Italians - know about the place, and it is telling that the Milanese call it La Cenerentola (Cinderella) because they have long considered it the secretly superior sibling to the larger lakes of Como and Maggiore.
Many water sports are available in the area, including swimming, boating, water skiing, and scuba diving. There are horseback riding stables nearby, as well as two golf courses. There are many possibilities to follow footpaths leading to the towns and villages along the lake, and to the forest and the mountains. In Pettenasco (2 km), there are restaurants, grocery stores, a Cappuccino bar, a petrol station, a bank and a post office. Visits to Orta San Giulio are a sheer delight. Its narrow streets are all faded elegance and ochre charm, punctuated by sumptuous outbreaks of baroque. At one end of the square stands the town hall built in the 16th century; a little up the hill, overlooking the many restaurants and cafes, stands the pale-peach parish church founded in the 15th century. Tanned ferry captains wait by the jetty to run you across to Isola San Giulio, where a pedestrian path loops around the Benedictine monastery. For a more strenuous climb, head up to the Sacro Monte di San Francesco (sacrimonti.net) and enjoy the spectacular view. And spend a leisurely afternoon at the Orta Beach Club (ortabeachclub.com), where you can swim, rent kayaks or just pass out on a lounge chair.
The entrance to Villa Sole leads through a beautiful garden into a courtyard. The villa forms an U-shape around the courtyard. Villa Sole is a cosy family home. Paintings, prints and pieces of pottery decorate the rooms, and many interesting books fill the bookcases. A beautiful, spacious loggia on the upper floor becomes the living room during the summer months and has views onto trees, the garden and through treetops onto the lake. (At the moment there is no open view of the lake, the owner is waiting for the permission of the township to cut the trees).
Please note: The villa sleeps 9+1 people in summer time; during low season there is a maximum of 6 guests permitted. Outside, a long and steep path leads down to the private dock and bathing area. At the bottom of the path, you must cross a road to reach the lake. Children must be watched and helped across the road. In front of the crossing is a little ferry launch (with connection to Orta during summer) and the gate to the dock. Please note that there are some steps here that could be difficult for those with walking difficulties. A ladder helps guests to reach the lawn when stepping out of the water. There is a parking for one car inside the property, another parking for a small car is outside at the front of the house. The villa it is not suitable for people with walking difficulties.Read more
Left on 08/09/2012 for a stay in July 2012 | Hugh Osborn
This ancient villa is a beautiful enclosed courtyard with a balcony on three sides. The decor is an attractive eclectic mix and the landscaping very well done. There is a private several-acre park on the grounds and a small dock to swim from (although it's a walk/drive from the house).
Arriving through the town streets is very difficult - try to contact Rafaelo and come up the driveway.
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