On the northern end of Lake Orta rises Omegna, the capital of Cusio.The Town, located at the bottom of Mottarone and Valla Strona, continues along the Nigoglia river, the only emissary of the alpine lakes that flows north.
Omegna is famous as the birthplace of Gianni Rodari. This versatile intellectual was born on 23 rd October 1920 in a small house in the centre of the town and remained related to these places in such a strong way to set here some of his most popular tales. Every year in October , the Festival of Children ‘s literature, dedicated to Rodari, takes place. In 2021 opened the first museum in the world, entirely focused on the writer, to support The “Parco della fantasia”, active on the territory for years to promote both the message and the Rodarian work.
In the twentieth century this town of Cusio was also a vibrant industrial centre. After the world war II it deserved the reputation of homeland of the italian household manufacture. Alessi, Bialetti, Girmi and Lagostina are all brands developed in Omegna before exporting their iconic products all over the world. Still today at the household permanent exhibition it is possible to admire the items by the factories mentioned above.
Omegna is also closely related to sport, not surprisingly in 2019 it has been chosen as European City of Sport. Volley legends as Eleonora Lo Bianco and Paola Cardullo, great conoeing, rowing and water skiing champions as Alberto Richetti, Stefano Basalini, Danilo Nolli and Andrea Alessi were born and raised here. Omegna and Lake Orta have been popular for a decade in the sky running world thanks to UTLO, mountain race competition that recalls runners from all over the world.
Omegna food and wine include, in addition to the lake dishes, two typical and very appreaciated sweets; the “imperialine” the round shaped buisquits composed of two thin and crunchy waffles with hazelnut or almonds paird with chocolate and the Bread Cake, a bakery product prepared with these main ingredients: stale bread, milk, cocoa, sugar, raisins, eggs and lemon zest.
Points of interest
Among the points of interest of the Town, Sant’Ambrogio’s collegiata is to mention; it has medieval origin and is a sample of overlapping styles. Inside, San Vito’s relics, the Co Patron of the town, are kept.
Right on the occasion of the celebration of the Saint, every year at the end of August, the gulf of Omegna turns into a suggestive, natural theatre with an amazing fireworks show that recalls thousands of people.
The Roman Door, located in the Old Town, is worth a visit; it’s the last tastement of the ancient walls dated back to the XII century those had other four doors now lost. Walking along Omegna is evocative to get lost in the alleys of the “Vaticano district”, where you can admire houses of the XI, XII e XIII; They rise along “Via del butèr” (now Alberganti street) so called because in the past , cheese was sold here under the arcade.