The villages nearest Mandali are Quarna Sopra and Quarna Sotto, famous for making Saxophones. They like to be thought of as the villages of Music and a walk to these villages to experience their treasures is well worth while.
Lago d’Orta is one of the most evocative areas in Italy. The most renowned place in the area is the charming medieval town of Orta San Giulio, considered to be one of the most beautiful in the whole of Italy. It is also home to the UNESCO heritage site of the twenty chapels of Sacro Monte, built into the slopes of the ridge overhead, which tells the life story of St. Francis of Assisi.
The small island of San Giulio, close to the town, lies in the middle of Lago d’Orta and houses a monastery of Benedictine nuns. You can easily take a boat to the island to admire the impressive Romanesque basilica of the monastery and enjoy walking the quiet, car-less streets – known as the Path of Silence.
The small romantic town of Pella is on the other side of Lago d’Orta, dominated by the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sasso which is built on the rocky granite promontory sitting high over the lake.
Just a few kilometres on you can visit Lago Maggiore, an area rich in history and artistic achievements. It includes the beautiful islands of Isole Borromee and Stresa, with their magnificent villas and gardens.