From the lakes, to the mountains, to our backyard (kind of), we have been enjoying the beautiful spring weather AND the many holidays that included a couple of long weekends. First it was Independence day, then Labor day or May day. We like day trips because they can be improvised at the last minute. One only needs to have good weather, gas in the tank, a couple of friends willing to take off without much notice, and off you go.
SANTA CATERINA DEL SASSO is a sanctuary built on the rocks on the Lombard shore of Lago Maggiore. The sanctuary can be reached by ferry, which provides amazing views of the buildings, or by car. If by car, one has to go down 283 steps to reach the sanctuary (and then go up those same steps to the parking site!)
The sanctuary was founded by Alberto Besozzi di Arolo, a merchant that survived a shipwreck in the rocks bellow the site. He built a small chapel to Santa Caterina. The Dominicans built other two chapels to Santa Maria Nova and San Nicola in the XIV century. The three chapels were unified into one in the XV century. Today, after a lengthy restoration supported by the Province of Varese, the monastery has been entrusted to the care of the Benedictine monks and has once again become a religious and tourist destination.
Thanks to the restauration, the visitor can admire magnificent frescoes dating from the XV century. What a beautiful place to visit for some inspiration!
PIC-NIC IN THE BACKYARD