San Giulio Island or St. Julius Island (Italian: 'Isola di San Giulio') is an island within Lake Orta in Piedmont, northwestern Italy. The island is 275 m (902 ft) long (north/south), and is 140 m (459 ft) wide (east/west). The most famous building on the island is the Basilica di San Giulio close to which is the monumental old seminary (1840s).

The little Island is dominated by its Romanesque basilica, the bishop’s palace and the Benedictine abbey. Legend has it that the island was once a bare rock inhabited by snakes and terrible monsters, until the day in 390 when San Giulio landed, crossing the lake on his cloak and guided in the storm. Here the Saint founded a church, which he later chose to be buried in, and transformed the island into a centre of evangelization of the whole area

In the 5th century, a small chapel (oratory) was erected on the island, probably to commemorate the evangelizer Saint Julius. From archaeological finds, it is known that a new, larger church already existed in the 6th century: here Filacrio, the bishop of Novara, asked to be buried.

More Info: