Home » Pella: Historical and Natural Beauty on Lake Orta

Pella is a small town on Lake Orta, a true gem nestled in the Alps.

It is a place where you can seek and find peace, but Pella is also rich in history that unfolds at every turn of the winding, uphill roads.
Walking along the lake while admiring the enchanting reflection of the Island of San Giulio in the middle, you can reach the medieval tower in a few minutes. The tower is now private property, but it was formerly part of the town’s defensive system.

Walking a little further, you’ll see the 16th-century church of St. Albino Bishop, with its small portico and its bell tower reconstructed in 1936 with the stones of Alzo.
Just a few steps from the square, walking towards the cemetery and a path uphill that leads into the dense scrub, you can enjoy a unique view of the River Pellino flowing impetuously through the rocks. The bridge above resembles a donkey’s back and, in the past, it was used to allow funeral processions to reach the small cemetery.

Let yourself be guided by the colors and beauty that this center can offer, stopping to enjoy an ice cream or crepes in front of the magnificent view of the lake. The real historical gem of Pella is the church of St. Filiberto, located near one of the sailing boats that connect the center to the Island of San Giulio, Orta San Giulio, and other towns overlooking Lake Orta.

San Filiberto is the oldest complex of Pella, built around the 11th century BC and remodeled in the sixteenth century. Around the monument, there are 14 chapels of the Via Crucis, dating back to 1794; the bell tower is the original one, dating back between 1075 and 1110. The church, with a single nave, was remodeled after the Middle Ages, including some frescoes. Among them, we can find the portraits of St. Giulio and St. Filiberto, together with other saints.


From the center of Pella, you can reach the nearby hamlet of Alzo and the sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin of the Rock (Madonna del Sasso) that sits majestically on the rock spur over the lake. I recommend you check the timetable for the shuttle that will take you uphill. From Pella, you can easily visit the Island of San Giulio and Orta San Giulio by boat or ferry.

Copyright photos of the article and photo gallery: Cristina Cumbo