Lake Orta is a lake in northern Italy, west of Lake Maggiore.
It has been so named since the 16th century, but was previously called Lago di San Giulio, after Saint Julius, the patron saint of the region. Its southern end is about 35 kilometers by rail to the northwest of the city of Novara, while its north end is about 6 kilometers 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.
Located around the lake are Orta San Giulio, built on a peninsula projecting from the east shore of the lake, Omegna at its northern extremity, Pettenasco to the east, and Pella to the west.
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.
The inaugural European Rowing Championships were held on Lake Orta in 1893.