Pettenasco: History and Activities of this village on Lake Orta 

A Piedmontese Village on Lake d’Orta, whose History is Important and Where Is Possible to Practice Several Different Activities.

Pettenasco is a village in the area of Novara, in Piedmont, overlooking Lake Orta. Precisely, this village is located in-between Orta San Giulio and Omegna. Despite being a small municipality, Pettenasco vaunts significant historical roots and activities that are suitable for any tourist. North to the Medieval Village, then, you find Punta Crabbia, one of the most famous promontories in the area. There, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Lake from Omegna to Orta. 


With its 1376 inhabitants, Pettenasco history dates back to the Ancient Romans. This latter could dominate this territory in the past, as some graves present in the area testify. The hypothesis of the Roman presence finds its justification in the legend of Saint Giulio’s life, which tells the story of prefect Audentius, who lived in this area around the 4th century A.D.

The Middle Ages is the historical era that has impacted the history of Pettenasco the most. It is still possible to find several dwellings of that time, presenting stone portals engraved with several decorations. Among these dwellings, the mansion which is best-preserved is the Casa Medioevale (Medieval House), at Piazza Unità d’Italia.  The cultural association Pro Loco Pettenasco Nostra manages Casa Medievale. The organization offers exhibitions, concerts, and kermesse reunions in the court and rooms of Casa Medioevale.

What to See and Do? 

Besides the remains of Saint Audentius Church and the Parish of Saint Audentius and Catherine, windmills are worth visiting when in Pettenasco. These latter represent the agricultural nature that the town had in the past, as they were used to grind flour. 

Later, windmills turned into hydraulic plumbings used by woodturners to manufacture crafts to sell: this activity lasted until the end of the fifties. Today, these woodturners and, in particular, the one on the Roggia Molinara welcomes the Museum on the Art of Woodturning, where one can admire the tools of the trade.  

Concerning the activities that Pettenasco offers for tourists, they can choose among several beaches on the lake. If you want to relax in nature by the Passeggiata del Lungolago (Lakeside promenade), the best beaches are: 

  • Approdo beach;
  • Dolphin’s beach;
  • Riva Pisola beach;

Sports lovers can engage in various hiking trails and, in particular, those of Mount Barro and the Anello Azzurro (Blue Ring). Pettenasco and its surroundings host the Lake Orta Wine Festival, which is the most important wine festival in the district.  The event promotes local wines and their tasting, and it usually takes place during the second week of September.

Photo by mauromilani19 on Flickr