Sacro Monte di Varese

Varese, Italy

The Sacro Monte di Varese (literally ‘Sacred Mount of Varese’) is one of the nine sacri monti in the Italian regions of Lombardy and Piedmont which were inscribed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. It has an altitude of 807 metres above sea-level.

The Sacro Monte of Varese is located a few kilometers from the city and nestled in the regional park Campo dei Fiori. It consists of the Holy Road and the Sanctuary, as well as the small medieval village surrounding the Sanctuary. The Holy Road with its 14 chapels, rise up the mountain to the little village of Santa Maria del Monte and it ends with the Sanctuary (15th chapel) dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The rise is 2 kilometers along on a pebbly path, and every chapel represents one of the Mysteries of Jesus Christ’s life. You can find at the mountaintop the Sanctuary, the Cloister of Monache Romite Ambrosiane, The Museo Baroffio e del Santuario, the Casa Museo Lodovico Pogliaghi, the permanent nativity scene, and different restaurants, bars, a pizzeria, three hotels and a bed & breakfast.

The recently restored Vellone-Sacro Monte funicular operates between a parking lot at the first chapel 'Prima Cappella' and the top of Sacro Monte on Saturdays and Sundays throughout most of the year.



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Founded: 1604
Category: Religious sites in Italy


4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jared Theisinger (2 years ago)
Beautiful place for quiet reflection, and a peaceful walk. Amazing view of the surrounding areas too. Would make sure that you are surefooted, and probably not suited for a pram unless it’s a Thule buggy or similar as the cobblestones are quite large. There is also limited parking facilities, so would suggest trying to visit at non peak times too.
Andréa Schmitt (2 years ago)
Great walk uphill, I little tiring but you can definitely do it at your own pace, stopping at each point to rest, enjoy the view, take some photos and drink some water. But GO TO THE TOP. The small village at the top is the cutest with all the alleys and stone walls. Plus the view is just wonderful. I wasn't sooo lucky because there's a bit of fog, so I couldn't see as far, but it was definitely worth it. Might go back to visit the museums and try to get a clearer sky. Plus, the restaurants have really reasonable price (haven't tried any as I took my own lunch). I'd say it takes at least 3 ro 4 hours to truly enjoy all that Sacro Monte offers, whitout the visit on the museums.
Nóra Téglásy (2 years ago)
Beautiful place, nice walk, great view. It's a pity that we didn't really find a coffee or restaurant nearby the parking point (First Chapel). I was happy that the church was open. The statues inside the chapels are not easy to watch and there are no English texts.
Ewald Van Der Helm (3 years ago)
Great but hidden unesco site that you should visit when in the neighbourhood. It concerns an unpaved road up the mountain which can only be walked. Along this secret way 12 chapels have been build. Each differently and inside being decorated with historical carved statues. It is a nice walk up and very calm and relaxing environment. Parking is a bit problematic but we finally managed to find a place.
d0rian7 (3 years ago)
A must visit site if you find yourselves in the area. A beautiful settlement on top of a hill with a beautiful view of lake Varese and its surroundings. There is a path you can follow to visit each chapel. There are also cafes and restaurants that you can visit to have a nice, drink or a meal while enjoying the view. 5 stars, Highly recommended!
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