Christmas is a very colorful period throughout Italy: from North to South, passing through the islands, the country lights up with lights and shines with magic. But this year there is something even more special, an incredible show that is an event never seen before. Is called “Islands of Light”and now we will discover together what it is and when it is possible to participate.
The “new light” to the historic lakeside constructions
I lakes Maggiore and Orta they are two truly precious pearls of our country. Among their placid waters there are wonderful islands which this year benefit from a new project which strongly aims to promote and enhance the local tourist and cultural heritage. How? Giving “new light” to the historic lakeside constructions – between fishing and faith – present on both islands through two prestigious light shows which visitors will be able to enjoy throughout the holiday period.
Francesco Gaiardelli, President of the Ossola Lakes, Mountains and Valleys Tourist District, through a press release, announced that: “for our events it was decided to once again favor a type of show with low environmental impact, which was silent and evocative at the same time , perfect for recreating a one-of-a-kind Christmas setting.”
In essence, already in these days the lights are covering the buildings, the most beautiful monuments and the most evocative corners of the two islands with colours. The result is an exceptional skyline, with a thousand sparkling colors that are reflected in the water and create a sort of floating nativity scene.
Starting from Tuesday 12 December, with daily switching on from 5.00 pm to 1.00 am, and for the entire holiday period, buildings and monuments will be enhanced by enchanting illuminations which in turn will recreate a magical setting.
The islands chosen for these events also represent two “villages of excellence” and which also lend themselves marvelously to their particular charm: theFishermen’s Islanda spectacle in the province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola which overlooks Lake Maggiore, and theSan Giulio Islandthe only “floating” piece of land on Lake Orta and a true jewel of the province of Novara
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The show on Fishermen’s Island
A series of projectors have already begun to radically modify the island which is now the protagonist of aparty atmosphere reflected on the water. Slow animations give life to hundreds of ever-changing color combinations that involve the entire surface.
In fact, Isola dei Pescatori is a fascinating lakeside village of excellence and even the only island in the Borromean archipelago to be permanently inhabited.
When you get there you find yourself in front of a postcard village that seems painted on the water, and then you get lost in the spectacular maze of cobbled alleys, along which you move strictly on foot and admire the characteristic multi-storey colorful houses.
Belonging to the territory of the Municipality of Stresa, it offers a lakeside promenade surrounded by elegant hotels, where you can also taste the typical biscuits of Stresa, the Margheritine baked for the first time in 1857 by the Stresian pastry chef Pietro Antonio Bolongaro and which made the woman fall in love with Queen Margaret; precisely in honor of the sovereign, the fragrant biscuits were named after her.
The administration of the City of Stresa welcomed the “Islands of Light” event with great enthusiasm and thanked the Lake Tourist District for the initiative which aims to attract local tourism in the winter period, and therefore also with the aim to extend the season.
Stresa, among other things, has already been the City of Christmas since 2021 and this initiative will prove to be a further opportunity to increase the interest and visibility of the town which, at the same time, will also offer videomapping initiatives, Christmas lights, Christmas markets Christmas, rides, creative games and other important events for adults and children.
The show on the island of San Giulio
The lighting on the fascinating and unique Island of San Giulio will certainly not be less of a protagonist, where the show began on Friday 15 December and will continue throughout the holidays with daily switching on from 5pm to 1am.
Not to be missed are Giotto’s stars with an installation that combines poetry, spectacle and mysticism. The island is in fact painted in light and dark blue tones with some golden yellow elements.
The Island of San Giulio, on Lake Orta, is under the administrative jurisdiction of the Municipality of Orta San Giulio and is the tallest building built on the ancient castle, the Seminary of 1844, today an abbey of Benedictine nuns “Mater Ecclesiae”. Equally incredible is the Basilica of San Giulio, founded in the 4th century, as are the Ambo made from a monolith in grey-green serpentine from Oira and the crypt with the silver reliquary (1697) with the remains of San Giulio. A road runs in a ring around the entire island, the so-called “Via del Silenzio e della Meditazione” depending on how you travel it.
“In the silence of the night, the magic of the colors that illuminate the Island of San Giulio with light, makes the atmosphere of Lake Orta a small treasure chest of beauty and harmony. It makes you dream and excite. At the gaze of the Comet Star the soul is filled with Peace and the Spirit remains rich in Joy and Hope.”, declared the mayor of Orta San Giulio, Dr. Giorgio Angeleri.
“It is a real honor to continue the collaboration with the Lakes Tourist District” he then commented Cristiano Pigino, CEO Proietta SRL, underlining that: “On the Island of San Giulio we have chosen a theme in harmony with the place, home to an ancient and active cloistered monastery, to celebrate Giotto, a genius and Master who literally revolutionized painting. Its stars, unique and recognisable, together with the characteristic shades of blue and yellow, “paint” the island in the context of the extraordinary natural landscape that surrounds it. The Christmas installation created on Isola dei Pescatori instead aims to be a sign of serenity through lights and colors in a time of great international tragedies. The aim is to convey emotion through the continuous changing of colors generated by many small LED projectors positioned in strategic points of the island. Thank you for your trust and the opportunity to be part of these exciting new projects.”
In short, these two spectacular Italian islands will give us a truly one-of-a-kind Christmas.