Isola San Giulio or San Giulio Island is an island within Lake Orta in Piedmont, northwestern Italy. The island is 275 metres long (north/south), and is 140 metres wide (east/west). The most famous building on the island is the Basilica of Saint Giulio close to which you can see the monumental old Seminary (1840s). Since 1976 it has been transformed into a Benedictine monastery. The little island, just west of the lakeshore village of Orta San Giulio, has very picturesque buildings, and takes its name from a local patron saint (Julius of Novara), who lived in the second half of the 4th century.n the 5th century, a small chapel (oratorium) was erected on the island, probably to commemorate the great evangelizer Saint Julius, who had died there. We know from archaeological finds that a new, bigger church already existed in the 6th century: here Filacrio, the bishop of Novara, asked to be buried. In the same time an octagonal building - probably a baptistery - was erected in the middle of the island. Unfortunately every trace of it has been cancelled in the 19th century when the massive building of the Seminary was built. In the 12th century a new romanesque basilica was built, thus altering the previous one to some extent.