Lake Orta, Italy - February 24, 2012: People enjoy lunch in a lakeside restaurant. With the nearby Unesco site Sacro Monte and San Giulio island, Orta is a popular destination for small-scale tourism.

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Orta San Giulio

There's a very northern Italian magic about Orta San Giulio, one of the prettiest old lakeside towns you'll find anywhere. Aside from its lovely architecture and tangle of narrow lanes, it also serves as the gateway to the lovely Isola San Giulio and is watched over by a forested hillside strewn with chapels. As you can imagine, it's a great place to spend a few days, particularly during the week when it's likely to be just you and the locals.

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