Orta San Giulio
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Special Natural Reserve of Monte Mesma

With its almost 600 mt height, Monte Mesma (576 m) offers to his visitors an amazing view of Cusio. At the top of the hill there is the Franciscan convent bearing the same name, Mesma, and the church, which is dedicated to San Francesco. The parvis overlooks the Orta Lake with the island in the middle and the Monte Rosa standing out in the background.
Two different roads climb to Mesma from opposite slopes: a first one from the side of Ameno and Lortallo and the second one from Bolzano Novarese. Along both of them, there are the shrines of two Viae Crucis: they were built thanks to local benefactors; the frescoes were realized later. The convent rises on the remains of the ancient fortress of Mesima, which was the scene of conflicts between the Municipality of Novara and its Bishop in the 13th and 14th century. In 1358 the inhabitants of Ameno and Lortallo, who got tired of tirannies and raids, destroyed it. The present buildings of the convent and of the church stand therefore over the ancient foundations of the castrum of Mesima.
The Piedmont Region created the Riserva Naturale del Monte Mesma, a natural reserve with the purpose to protect the religious complex and the rich vegetation.

Source: www.conventomontemesma.it

Distretto Turistico dei Laghi_Convento del Monte Mesma (Lago d'Orta)