religious property, Country Park, religious architecture, exhibition
Late Roman era, Medieval and modern period, contemporary period

Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Monte

The Sacro Monte of Varese is a devotional centre erected on the Velate mountain between 1604 and 1698; this evangelical structure was designed to celebrate the dogma of the Catholic Church in opposition to the spread of the protestant reform.

The itinerary for pilgrims consists in a Sacred Way about 2 kilometres long, with 14 chapels designed to illustrate and promote meditation on the mystery of the Holy Rosary that finishes at the Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Monte and which represents the fifteenth chapel. Triumphal arches and fountains line the itinerary: a splendid example of integration and harmony between sacred art, architecture and the surrounding natural landscape.

Towards the end of the XIX century, and later with the construction of the cable railway in 1909, the Sacro Monte became an important tourist destination.

More recently the artistic vitality that has always distinguished the structure has been expressed in the works of Renato Guttuso ('The Escape to Egypt' in the III chapel, 1983) and Floriano Bodini (Statue of Paolo VI, 1986).

The Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Monte is inserted in a small village that has maintained its Medieval town plan. Places to visit include the Baroffio museum, created by a donation of the Baron Giuseppe Baroffio Dall'Aglio and the museum home of the sculptor Lodovico Pogliaghi.

The bodies of the Romite Ambrosiane monastery's founders, the beatified Caterina and Giuliana, are conserved in the oratory of the Sanctuary.

Thanks to a careful restoration work, the "Crypt" of the Sanctuary was reopened to the public. Besides frescoes dated fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, interesting stratified archaeological are discovered, dating back to a long historical period beginning in the Roman Empire and ends in the Middle Ages.

Casa Museo Ludovico Pogliaghi

Casa Museo Ludovico Pogliaghi
Located next to the first chapel of the Via del Rosario.

Visitor reception, information material distribution, video and conference room, booking guided tours, toilet.

Contacts and informations:
Cell 328.8377206

Monastero Romite Ambrosiane

Centro di Spiritualità Romite Ambrosiane
Piazza Paolo VI, Varese
Telefono e fax: +39 0332 227678

il Centro offre la possibilità di vivere ore o giornate di preghiera, di silenzio e di riflessione condividendo con la comunità monastica alcune celebrazioni liturgiche in rito e canto ambrosiano (informazioni: +39 0332 227678).