October 30, 2015 | talktraveltome | Leave a comment For the final stop on our mini-tour of Italy we visited the picturesque lake town of San Giulio residing on the edge of Lake Orta. Located in the Northwest of Italy, and about an hour outside of Milan, it made for the perfect place to end our Italian adventure. Lake Orta is one of Italy’s lesser known lakes located in the Peidmont region. It’s stunningly beautiful and still hasn’t been hit by the tourist title wave like so many other places in Italy have. However, its popularity is certainly starting to grow as it’s home to one of Italy’s top chefs: Antonino Cannavacciuolo and his equally talented wife Cinzia, who manages the fairytale-like Villa Crespi. Villa Crespi is a 19th century villa offering a glimpse into another era with it’s incredible arabesque architecture and superb attention to detail. It was built with the intention of replicating Middle Eastern architecture and absolutely accomplished this goal. From the moment we walked through the front door there was something that was undeniably unique about this villa. For starters, when we looked up in the lobby we were met with a jaw-dropping chandelier, surrounded by walls that showcased the detailed carved woodwork that can be seen through out the villa. In fact, while walking around it felt like we could have very easily been at some palace in a far eastern desert instead of on an Italian lake… although we were very happy to have been on Lake Orta instead of in the middle of a desert. In addition, to being a 19th century castle, Villa Crespi also boasts a two Michelin star restaurant run by Antonino Cannavacciuolo. We’ve eaten at several restaurants that have one Michelin star on our travels, but this is the first two Michelin star restaurant we’ve eaten at and it certainly did not disappoint. For more on our dinning experience check out our Restaurant Review: Villa Crespi. This 14-room villa overlooking Lake Orta is truly exceptional with it’s antique yet functional decor and furnishings. We found ourselves wandering around the halls, taking in all the beautiful sculptures, light fixtures and unique design features . We stayed in the Aidha Deluxe Room, with a four poster canopy bed and all the comforts you would expect from a luxury boutique hotel. Exploring San Giulio and Lake Orta: Besides being home to one of the most unique villas and best restaurants we have ever had the privilege of visiting, San Giulio is a beautiful town with a medieval feel. The town is actually a peninsula and is filled with small streets and pastel buildings. While standing in the town square you’ll have amazing views of the lake itself as well Isola San Giulio, also known as San Giulio Island. Isola San Giulio is a small island (roughly 275 meters x 140 meters) with it’s most famous attraction being Basilica di San Giulio. The island can be reached by ferry leaving from the town center and is small enough to explore in a couple of hours. If seeing old Basilicas and churches is your idea of a fun afternoon then you’ll love Sacro Monte di San Francesco. It’s located on the top of a hill in San Giulio and showcases 20 chapels depicting the life of St. Francis of Assisi. Not to mention you can take in more spectacular views of the lake from the top of the hill. We were fortunate enough to end our Italy trip with a one-of-kind experience at Villa Crespi and a chance to take in some of northern Italy’s remarkable beauty. It was definitely a fairytale type experience and something we hope we can do again sometime in the near future. Thank you Villa Crespi for hosting during our time in San Giulio! As always, our opinions are our own as we Talk Travel.