• Art & Culture

The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso

Where
Eremo di Santa Caterina del Sasso Via Santa Caterina, 13, Leggiuno (VA)
Contacts
+39 0332 647014
Official site

You can reach it from the lake, docking at the dedicated pier, or from the forecourt above, where a panoramic staircase of 268 steps, descends down the slope to the entrance of the southern monastery.

In any case, you won't regret making the effort to visit one of the most fascinating historical places on Lake Maggiore: the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso Ballaro, in the small municipiality of Leggiuno (VA). 

The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso was  founded between the 12th and the 13th Century by a local merchant. During a terrible storm, seeing himself lost, he invoked the aid of Saint Caterina and he found himself on a rock jutting out of the water, unharmed. 
So he chose to live in hermitage in a cave on the cliff wall and, in 1195, he had a chapel built to thank the Saint. In the 14th Century a community of Augustinian monks came to inhabit the hermitage, followed by the Ambrosian Romites in 1379 and the Carmelites in 1649. Various monastic orders have taken over the menagement. Currently, the monastery is run by the Franciscan Fraternity of Bethany. 

The hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sassois made up of three buildings: the southern monastery, the convent and the church. Arriving at the hermitage, you will be greeted by a long corridor bordered by round arches with granite columns, which run along the southern side of the monastery. You will enter the Chapter room to admire the splendid frescoes. The convent, located in front of the winepress courtyard, is enriched by an arcade with pointed arches and preserves a macabre dance of big interest. 

on the ground floor is the refectory and on the first floor are the friars' cells. In the end, the inner courtyard opens on the small church next to the 14th-century bell tower. The altar of the church is surrounded by frescoes of great artistic value. Thanks to the particular position, to the suggestive places and the unique view over the lake, the hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso seems created to find one's inner peace and contemplate beauty.  

 

 

 


Opening hours

The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso is opened everyday:
from 15 October to 15 Decembere from 7 January to 15 March.

  • From monday to friday: from 13:30 to 18:00 (last entrance 17:30)
  • Saturday, Sunday and midweek holidays: from 9:30 to 19.30 (last entrance 19.00)
  • Celebration of Holy Mass mon-fri: 17.00; sat-sun: 18.00. Entry to the church at these times is only permitted for those attending mass.

from 16 March to 14 October and from 16 December to 6 January

  • Everyday from 9:30 to 19:30 (last entrance 19.00)
  • Celebration of Holy Mass 18.00.
  • Entry to the church at these times is only permitted for those attending mass.
entrance tickets

Ordinary ticket : € 5,00
Reduced price ticket: € 3,00 reserved for:

  • Over 65
  • Citizens resident in the province of Varese
  • Groups of visitors consisting of a minimum number of 15 paying people

Concessionary ticket: € 4,00 reserved for:

  • members of FAI - Fondo per l'Ambiente Italiano with a valid membership card

FREE entranced reserved for:

  • tourist guides in the exercise of their professional activity
  • tourist interpreters from the European Union when their services are needed alongside the guide
  • Members of I.C.O.M. (International Council of Museums)
  • visitors under 18 years of age
  • groups or groups of students from public and public schools in the European Union, accompanied by their teachers, subject to prior reservation
  • teachers and students enrolled in the faculties of architecture, conservation of the cultural heritage, educational sciences and degree courses in literature or literary subjects with an archaeological or historical-artistic focus of the faculties of literature and philosophy, or in corresponding faculties and courses established in the Member States of the European Union, upon presentation of the certificate of enrolment for the current academic year
  • teachers and students enrolled at fine arts academies or corresponding institutions in the European Union, upon presentation of the certificate of enrolment for the current academic year
  • school teaching staff, whether tenured or with a fixed-term contract, upon presentation of appropriate certification issued by the educational institutions
  • disabled persons and a family member or other accompanying person who provides proof of membership of social and health care services
  • citizens residing in the municipality of Leggiuno
  • religious pilgrimages accompanied by a priest for the celebration of Holy Mass with prior reservation. (N.B. This facilitation is not applied in the event of a simultaneous visit to the Hermitage; in this case, access is equated to visits and therefore the entrance fee will be applied)
LIFT

The ticket for the lift costs € 1,00
The lift is FREE for persons with motor disabilities and accompanying person.

CONTACTS

INFO@EREMOSANTACATERINA.IT
0332.647014
3288377206

HOW TO REACH US

The Hermitage is located in Leggiuno (VA) in via santa Caterina 13.
Ample parking is available a few metres from the ticket office.
You can reach it by car from Varese (22 km, SP1 del lago e SS394), from Milan (78 km, highway a8 and a26 exit Vergiate- Sesto Calende ), from Lugano (42 km, crossing Lavena Ponte Tresa)
By vassel from Arona or from Stresa, with more raids per day according to the Lake Maggiore navigation timetables: gli orari della navigazione lago Maggiore

Take me here: The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso

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