The sanctuary of santa caterina: from the lake a wonderful view

The Sanctuary of Santa Caterina del sasso

Built on a rocky costone to precipice on the Lake Maggiore, the hermitage of Saint Caterina is surely one of the most suggestive sceneries of the lake, it is composed of three architectural nucleuses dating to the centuries XIII-XIV and it is a masterpiece of elegance and engineering.

From the principal entry of the hermitage it is accessed the southern convent for then to cross a long porch to arcs from which a spectacular sight lake enjoys him that embraces actually the Piedmontese bank to the Borromean Islands. From here him it arrives to a courtyard in which an ancient dated wooden press resides 1759, therefore to the said monastery the sanctuary , and to end to the church of Romanesque origins that has a structure curious fruit of the fusion of three separate chapels built in the time and in whose inside they are preserved valuable medieval frescos.

The Hermitage of Saint Caterina can be reached from the impending square going down to zig zag from a picturesque and pleasant stairway of 268 steps or by lake with the boat or with private boats berthing in the small dock and climbing about eighty steps. This last access was the only one stung from which to reach the monastery since the first times and it is surely the approach that pays more the eye, that is that with the most greater visual impact. Legend narrates that the founder was a wealthy dealer such Alberto of the Besozzis, that miraculously saved him from a shipwreck for intervention of Saint Caterina in Alexandria in the distant 1170. In gesture of thanks it decided then to give him to the life of hermit in this place on which it had the first chapel to build. Years after Saint Caterina still intervened for defeating the plague that was still devastating the zone and then during the 17° century, when it arrested a landslide of rocky rocks that you/they were about to get depressed on the chapel of the grave of the founder.

During the centuries they followed periods of prosperity and decadence up to the monastic suppression in 1769 to which it followed a long period of carelessness and abandonment. Now the monastery is of ownership of the Province of Varese that has financed the restauration of the various buildings that during the centuries they have been as assistant: the chapel of Saint Maria Nova, that of St. Nicola and various bodies of the convent. Always edited by the Province the project in street of completion of an elevator dug in the rock that will allow to reach more easily the hermitage.

Exclusive spiritual goal in the twelfth century perched on the lake, a place of true meditation in a suggestive context. Reach the Hermitage from the lake is certainly one solutions that allows you to admire the prestigious architectural and religious exclusive view point.


Route a :Stresa - The Sanctuary of Santa Caterina del Sasso - Borromean Islands and return.

Time of term: 7 hours

Route b (direct): Stresa - Hermitage of Santa Caterina and return.

Time of term: 3 hours

dino G
Insert by dino G the day 10/05/2020

Bellissimi Landscapes con puntualità e cortesia

"La giornata è stata bellissima, le isole Borromee incantevoli e il servizio di traghetti puntuale. Nonostante la difficoltà iniziali di individuare il gestore del servizio che avevamo scelto ed ovviamente l'affollamento inevitabile delle persone che si trovavano sulle banchine in attesa degli imbarchi, tutto è andato al meglio!"

Insert by BrunoCuneo the day 29/04/2014

Giornata stupenda

Complice il sole stupendo, abbiamo effettuato in comitiva il giro delle Isole, partendo dall'Eremo di Santa Caterina, posti stupendi. Servizio ottimo e puntuale con quanto concordato. Eravamo una comitiva di 100 persone, ovviamente servizio prenotato per tempo..

Leila F
Insert by Leila F the day 11/12/2013


Indescritível! Fizemos o passeio passando por Santa Caterina del sasso, Ilha Borromeo, Isola Bella, Isola Madre e Isola dei Pescatori. No final da tarde continuamos para Feriolo Village e a noite retornamos ao Hotel.

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