Sacromonte di Varese

On top of the mountain ridge east of the massif of Campo dei Fiori is located the “Holy Mountain” in Varese. From here you overlook the plains of Lombardy and Piedmont to the south and the Swiss valleys to the north. East of the eye can see the mountains of Como and Lecco, west the region of lakes and over the horizon, the peaks of the western Alps.

Along the slopes of Monte Sacro develops a monumental work of the most significant part of the “Holy Mountains” which arose in the Alpine Foreland. It ‘a monument dedicated to the contemplation of the mysteries of the Rosary, through a devotional path, starting just above the village of Fogliaro, climbs the Mount until the summit. The complex involves a “sacred road” that winds touching buildings containing a visual representation of the Mysteries of the Rosary, with groups of statues and wall paintings that adorn them.

There are fourteen chapels and a chapel, the fifteenth is incorporated into the architectural complex of the shrine, where he completed the climb to the last Glorious Mystery. The three arches are divided on the way the route into three sections each of five chapels, dedicated respectively to the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries of the Rosary. At the top of the mountain there is a group of houses in the hamlet of Santa Maria del Monte.

How to get there without a car:

Take the Trenord train from Milan Cadorna station, or from Porta Garibaldi Station. Check on the site for the current schedules, both stations have two trains every hour. The stations of the two railroads in Varese are very close to each other, from the station it’s a two hours walk to the top of the Sacro Monte. Approx. 1 hour.

These are the alternatives:

– Walk along the “Via Sacra” leaving the resort “First Chapel”;
– Urban bus line “C”;

From the station Varese: exit the station and keep to the right. The first street right is Via Paolo Maspero. Cross it and you’ll see a newsstand. Turn right into Via Maspero and you’ll see the “C” bus stop. Approx. 10 min.

From the station Varese Nord: exit the station and keep to the left. Turn left into Via Paolo Maspero; the “C” bus stop is ten meters after the newsstand. Approx. 10 min.

By bus

Buy an urban bus ticket (1 euro) in any newsstand in Varese. You must take the “C” bus in the direction of Sacro Monte. Approx. 20 min.
– A funicular railway which can be reached starting only by bus from the first chapel.

Text and Photos courtesy in part of Trenord translated by Enrico