La Darbia blog

THE MAGIC OF A TOWER

Mon, 16 May 2016
THE MAGIC OF A TOWER
Twenty three metres high, slightly eerie but nonetheless reassuring, the ancient Buccione Tower represents the lake's oldest surviving sentinel. No doubt you have noticed this sort of "elderly lady" that arouses a feeling of uneasiness and respect… It has towered over the surrounding territory sinc..
Twenty three metres high, slightly eerie but nonetheless reassuring, the ancient Buccione Tower represents the lake's oldest surviving sentinel. No doubt you have noticed this sort of "elderly lady" that arouses a feeling of uneasiness and respect…
It has towered over the surrounding territory since it was built in the XII century, during the Middle Ages, in order to check the numbers of people passing through and to exact the due toll for the right of access to the Orta riviera. It has long been thought that the tower may have been of Roman or Longobard origins, though it was actually probably built by the Da Castello counts and served as an invaluable lookout to survey the lake and its surrounding plains.
In fact, people say that on a perfectly clear day its outline may be perceived in the distance from atop the cupola of the church of Saint Gaudenzio in Novara.



If you wish to inaugurate the spring season with a nice walk or cycle on a mountain bike, you can get to the tower along an unpaved trail, which begins at the little car park close to the Corconio quarry, not far from La Darbia. Go through the wood, which belongs to a natural protected area, then climb uphill for about 15 minutes till you reach the top: you will be struck by the most wonderful scenery which embraces the entire coast surrounding Lake Orta with the island of Saint Giulio right there in the middle and majestic Mount Rosain the background.



There are a couple of things I would like to tell you about this ancient tower. There used to be a huge bell situated on the top of the tower which would ring when danger was nigh and all the men in good shape would pick up their arms and come running to the scene. The bell also signalled important moments in the history of Italy: it cheerfully rang, despite being broken, in November of the year 1918 to herald the end of the First World War. After several years and substantial repairs and renovations, the clock, a fine example of 1600s wrought iron, was returned to its place of honour at the top of the tower.
A popular, old legend also tells a tragic story: at the beginning of the fifteen hundreds, Maria Canavesa, a widow, is alleged to have been killed with her son while striking the bell using a hammer to warn the riviera militia of the arrival of Carlo the Fifth's soldiers.
Arrow slits, crossbows and horse-shoes (brought to light during the most recent archeological excavations) remind us of our distant past still full of enchantment.

The charm of Lake Orta: find out more

Fri, 18 March 2016

I LOVE SHOPPING … IN MILAN

While here on holiday lots of our guests at La Darbia decide to dedicate a whole day to discovering Milan. Now that is something really worthwhile.

Thu, 25 February 2016

WALTER'S LAKES

A period of navigation that lasted two years and a graphic book with splendid pictures of both Lake Orta and Lake Maggiore; the extraordinary experience of the photographer Walter ..

Fri, 5 February 2016

WHITE HORIZONS

The Ossola Mountains, not so far from La Darbia, were the outstanding feature of the latest edition of Meridiani Montagne. Evocative scenery between snow and silence…

Wed, 27 January 2016

SAN GIULIO, THE DRAGON AND THE NUNS' BREAD

Saint Giulio's Day is one of the most eagerly awaited festivals on the shores of Lake Orta. On the 31st January, pilgrims flock to the island as the builders from Cusio celebrate t..

Tue, 19 January 2016

THE CORRESPONDENCE

The spectacular scenery of Lake Orta and the island of San Giulio are immortalized in “The Correspondence” by the Oscar-winning film director Giuseppe Tornatore

Mon, 7 September 2015

Osteria San Martino

A warm, cosy restaurant where you can taste the dishes typical of the Piedmont culinary tradition

This website or its third party tools use cookies, which are necessary to its functioning and required to achieve the purposes illustrated in the cookie policy. If you want to know more or withdraw your consent to all or some of the cookies, please refer to the cookie policy. By closing this banner, scrolling this page, clicking a link or continuing to browse otherwise, you agree to the use of cookies..