Sacro Monte

Sacro Monte, Varallo

Sacro Monte
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Religious Sites
00:00 - 23:59
Monday
00:00 - 23:59
Tuesday
00:00 - 23:59
Wednesday
00:00 - 23:59
Thursday
00:00 - 23:59
Friday
00:00 - 23:59
Saturday
00:00 - 23:59
Sunday
00:00 - 23:59
About
The Sacro Monte was built on the initiative of Blessed Bernardino Caimi, who, returning from the Holy Land (the late 1400s), wanted to recreate in small places of Palestine. At seventy years later the project was also interested S. Carlo Borromeo, which gave new impetus to the work and called it "New Jerusalem". The complex of buildings, some fifty was built over a few centuries. Each chapel is, with frescoes (4,000 figures) and groups of statues (400), scenes from the life of Jesus and Mary. Among the most important artists who worked in Varallo's Gaudenzio Ferrari, who worked with the founder to start the Monte S.: His is the great chapel of the Crucifixion. The Holy Mount of Varallo, the beauty of the place, for his testimony of faith and art, is a unique monument of its kind.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
The area
Address
Best nearby
We rank these restaurants and attractions by balancing reviews from our members with how close they are to this location.
Restaurants
39 within 5 kms
Attractions
15 within 5 kms

4.5
558 reviews
Excellent
403
Very good
129
Average
15
Poor
7
Terrible
4

TurinTraveller
Turin306 contributions
Well worth the visit
Jul 2021
Although we live in Piedmont, we only became aware of this place thanks to seeing it on the Giro D'Italia, which just goes to show how many gorgeous places we have in Italy that this goes unnoticed.
The whole area is well-kept, so it is extremely pleasant to walk around the grounds, and even on hot days there is a wonderful breeze to cool you down.
The sanctuary is lovely, and although the various cappelle scattered over the grounds might be a bit disappointing (you can see the statues through the grated windows and it's rather dark, the amazing thing is the workmanship, sheer dedication that went into creating this magical place in the 1600s.
Take your time to explore the walks around the area, but if it's hot, take water with you as there aren't many places that sell it (the lack of shops is also part of its charm, maintaining the spiritual feeling of the place.
And the amazing thing is that it is entirely free, although if you want, you can leave a donation in the church, which I certainly did.
Written 23 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

rzoe
Cambridge, MA209 contributions
Overwhelmingly Beautifully
Oct 2019
This religious site dates to the late 1400’s and includes 48 chapels and a basilica all laid out on a hilltop above the lovely town of Varallo. The architecture and setting are extremely beautiful - other worldly. The scenes in the chapels which were intended to be spiritually inspiring for the pilgrims who visited are inconsistent. Some are well done and others look as if they were redone by someone with no training. Much of the hair is fake which detracts from the visual. But the park overall and the basilica are staggering in their beauty. There is a funicular up to the site (€ 1.50 each way) or you can walk up a path that starts near the funicular. There’s also a restaurant, inn and outdoor bar/cafe closed on Monday. Highly recommend for anyone interested in Italian and/or religious art and history, or for a walk through a beautiful park. This is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Written 13 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank You Very Much for Your review and the visit!
Written 6 November 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

albe972
Milan, Italy277 contributions
how to go to Jerusalem, ....in Italy
Jun 2019 • Friends
built in middle ages for the ones who could not reach the Holy Land, walking through the chapels makes you conscious of Jesus Christ life.... a must for catholic pilgrims .you can reach it also with a fast cable car from the village of Varallo
Written 23 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

jeviolin
Saarbrücken, Germany389 contributions
What an incredible site!
May 2019 • Couples
This site alone is worth the journey to Varallo. We look forward to visit the other sites!
I’m speechless, it is so amazing and impossible for me to describe the many different things to see. What most impressed me was the basilica.
Written 11 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mattia V
Masserano, Italy174 contributions
Great place for a day excursion
Apr 2019 • Family
This sanctuary is the perfect place for a one-day excursion when visiting the area, it offers everything: spirituality, sightseeing, trekking, good food
Written 1 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Monte W
West Chester, PA22 contributions
Fantastic site
Mar 2019 • Solo
This is not only a religious site but a historical site mixed with a geologically unique location. In early spring there were limited visitors, I was the only rider on the funivia. Getting there early pays off! The views of the Valsesia are incredible. The terra-cotta dioramas were very interesting along with the history of the site. Regardless of your religious feelings this is an amazing historical and geological visit!

Written 25 March 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

fisici-mi
Milan, Italy271 contributions
Gran teatro montano - Grand theatre on a mountaintop
Sep 2018 • Solo
The Sacro Monte di Varallo is the first and most important Sacro Monte of the western alps. A Sacro Monte is a pilgrimage path on the top of a mountain or on the slope of a mountain, leading to a sanctuary church. In general the theme of the devotional journey is related to the life or death of Jesus Christ or other biblical stories or the lives of saints.
The Varallo complex is in fact a kolossal staging of the life of Christ till the sepulchre. The single scenes are displayed in chapels, decorated with frescoes and real size terracotta statues. The chapels are organised in a sort of ideal city built on the top of a massive rock dominating the town.
The complex was built starting at the end of the XVth century till the beginning of the XIXth century. The workshop was at the same time enriched by few extraordinary artists (the most important being Gaudenzio Ferrari and Tanzio da Varallo) and attracted many prominent artists working in Milan, who contributed to the creation of a collective masterpiece, together with local maters spending their entire lives in the workshop.
In spite of this long span of time and of several changes in the plans, the visit of the Sacro Monte is a strong and extremely rewarding experience (regardless of your religious credo) and an accelerated course on the history of late renaissance and baroque Lombard art.
Written 23 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Thomas P
Aarhus, Denmark140 contributions
Pretty
Jul 2018 • Family
I have very little interest in religion, but as often I like these old places with tons of history. Impressive site, but doesn't take long...
Written 26 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Port Monkeys
Jurupa Valley, CA221 contributions
Beautiful Views Overlooking the City
Jun 2018 • Couples
Sacro Monte is a great place to visit high above Varallo Sesia, Italy. There is a large church and 45 chapels depicting the life of Christ. Inside the chapels are life-sized statues representing the important events from His life. The walls inside the chapels are adorned with vivid frescos also. Some of them are currently being restored. They are the work of Gaudenzio Ferrari (1471-1546). Additionally, there are great vies of the city of Varallo and the surrounding valley.
Written 27 June 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

jamesmichael2013
Monterey, CA74 contributions
Fabulous spot for a church
May 2018 • Couples
Make sure you leave yourselves plenty time to wander around and to take in all of the buildings and to sit and contemplate the wisdom of who ever chose this marvelous location with ti's sweeping vistas.
Written 28 May 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 24
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Sacro Monte

Sacro Monte is open:
  • Sun - Sat 00:00 - 23:59