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“Pilgrimage”

Sacro Monte di Orta
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US$74.28*
and up
Tour of Lake Maggiore and Orta san Giulio from Arona
Certificate of Excellence
Norfolk, Virginia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Pilgrimage”
Reviewed 28 July 2014

Unlike other sacred mounts, Sacro Monte di Orta is dedicated to the life of St. Francis of Assisi. It was begun in the 1500s by a wealthy abbot who undertook the expense of building the first chapel on his own. Other wealthy patrons followed and there are now about 20, all in varying states of restoration. Inside the chapels, the events of St. Francis' life are played out in intricate frescoes and terracotta statues. The statues depict not just individuals, but are entire scenes populated by a wide cast of custom-made and painted characters to tell the story of the Saint's life. The figures are absolutely fascinating, and the view of Lake Orta and the mountains from the top is well worth the climb.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank Janet S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Sylvania, Ohio
Level Contributor
121 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Worth the climb”
Reviewed 14 July 2014

We paid a short visit to Orta with its quaint little streets and view on the lake. Then we walked up to the Sacred Mountain. It was a very pleasant surprise: a park with 23 little chapels and a church depicting the life of San Francesco. The site is unique and a UNESCO world heritage site. The walk up is a pleasure (15 to 20 mins) and the views from up on the mountain on the lake are wonderful. Less well known than Lago Magiore and the Isole Borromee but much more beautiful.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank fbernaerts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
35 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Don't forget your oxygen supply”
Reviewed 10 July 2014 via mobile

Myself and my wife (in our mid 40s) both felt like we had just climbed the north face of the Eiger once we finally reached the top. We are fit and active generally but this was tough. Be mindful it's a very steep climb to get to but worth the sweat tears and near divorce.
The view from the top over the lake is very good.
The ceilings are a thing of beauty.

Helpful?
4 Thank jerseymoby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
61 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“This is a matter of faith not aesthetics”
Reviewed 2 July 2014

The hike up is the high part. For those for whom this is a matter of faith - do go, I am sure you will find what you were looking for. For those looking for great art - it isn't here. I am not sure why it has the UNESCO designation other than it is considered a sacred spot - but that's ok. I did prefer the church on Isola San Guilio. It it is very hot you will need to bring your own water or Gatorade equivalent - we were lucky not too hot. The views from the top are great - you can even see through the trees onto Lago Maggiore. Ladies beware, the WC facilities are porcelain holes in the ground - so roll up the bottoms of your pants before using.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Food-Art-Lover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
110 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Very peaceful”
Reviewed 21 May 2014

We walked to this wonderful place today and spent about two hours there. There are 20 different chapels all depicting the life of St Francis and even if you are not Catholic this wonderful place offers a situation where you can ponder and reflect on life. The gardens are wonderful and the view is amazing. This is well worth the walk up the hill from Orat San Guilio.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Vicki J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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