Lake Orta is a perfect itinerary for those who want to take a quick ride on motorcycle or scooter, close to Milan, or for those passing along Lake Maggiore (right next to it).
On a sunny afternoon, riding our Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer, we pushed the twin-cylinder from Milan to Arona (a rather boring trait) but you can avoid it if you decide to follow the Ticino River to Lake Maggiore.
From Arona, following the signs we headed towards Alzo passing from south west. Already before arriving you notice, in the upper left the beautiful Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sasso, which dominates the entire valley right on top of the rocks on which it was built. After a few hundred meters we turn at the junction for Centonara and start the beautiful and gentle climb that will take you to the top. The first turns offer space to stop and take a picture of the lake and the Island of San Giulio, but it is riding up that you can feel how beautiful it will be to reach the top.
The Mandello twin-cylinder pushes very well with an excellent recovery at all revs, so the climb becomes panoramic and fun.
Take the first detour to the left that you find for the sanctuary, the hairpin bends are tight but just go slowly: you will have the perfect dimension of what you are going up. Once at the top, the last few meters that separate you from the Sanctuary are already exciting for the view you can see: arrive in the square, leave everything, bike, helmet and go to the terrace overlooking the Church.
We spent 5 minutes in silence watching everything. A view like this is really hard to find. All of Lake Orta beneath you with the snow-capped Alps is the perfect backdrop. Photos, photos, photos … but it’s time to leave.
We continue the bike down the side of the small villages of Arto and Centonara that will take you back to the SP46. From here the road does not run along the lake but it enters a harmonious series of curves in the nature up to Omegna: the stretch is perfect to let the two cylinders vent: the gas is not lacking, the brakes do their duty and position, not sports course, however, makes us feel safe in the fold and changes of direction.
Omegna deserves a stop along the lake where you can park easily and choose a nice place for a meal or a coffee. From here we take the provincial road towards Armeno, from which you can climb the “Mottarone“, but the weather has forced us to return quickly. We pass by Orta San Giulio where the famous Villa Crespi is located. Photo by Torsade de Pointes – Own work, CC0, Link
The tour of the lake ends a few kilometers later, but there are so many options for cruising: Lake Maggiore, Val Sesia or Val D’Ossola are all destinations that will fill your days on your bike and your heart.
Ride safe! F.C.
On our short tour we used a Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer, Premier Le Petit helmet, Midland BTX Pro Hi-Fi Bluetooth headset.