|Lake Orta |
|Primary inflows||underground springs, Scarpia, Pellino, Plesna, Qualba, Fiumetta, Pescone|
|Catchment area||116 km2 (45 sq mi)|
|Max. length||13.4 km (8.3 mi)|
|Max. width||2.5 km (1.6 mi)|
|Surface area||18.2 km2 (7.0 sq mi)|
|Average depth||71.6 m (235 ft)|
|Max. depth||143 m (469 ft)|
|Water volume||1.3 km3 (1,100,000 acre⋅ft)|
|Residence time||8.9 years|
|Surface elevation||290 m (950 ft)|
|Islands||Isola San Giulio|
|Settlements||Gozzano, Miasino, Nonio, Omegna, Orta San Giulio, Pella, Pettenasco, San Maurizio d'Opaglio|
It has been so named since the 16th century, but was previously called Lago di San Giulio, after Saint Julius (4th century), the patron saint of the region. Its southern end is about 35 kilometers (22 miles) by rail to the northwest of the city of Novara (located on the main Turin-Milan line), while its north end is about 6 kilometers (4 miles) by rail south of the Gravellona-Toce railway station, itself located halfway between Ornavasso and Omegna.
Its scenery is characteristically Italian, while San Giulio island has some picturesque buildings, and takes its name from the local saint, who lived in the 4th century.
It is supposed that the lake is the remnant of a much larger sheet of water by which originally the waters of the Toce flowed south towards Novara. As the glaciers retreated the waters flowing from them diminished, and were gradually diverted into Lake Maggiore.
Frequent ferry service connects towns and villages around the lake.