Luxury Lake Maggiore Holiday – Santa Caterina Del Sasso
Clinging to a rock face directly overhanging the lake, the hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso is certainly one of the most charming sights of lago Maggiore. The entrance to the church is through a portico, The structure of the current building is truly unique, the fusion of three chapels, originally built separately in three different eras. There are numerous pictorial cycles both inside and outside the Church, mainly covering the period running between the 14th and the 19th century. Art and history merge wonderfully in this most striking of natural frames, almost a balcony leaning out towards the Borromeo Gulf, Stresa and the islands.
The first structure found after entering the Hermitage is the southern convent (14th to17th century), with interesting frescos in the fireplace hall, then comes the small convent (13th century), where the area below the windows of the first floor is decorated by a long 17th-century fresco inspired by the Dance of Death, and finally the church, which incorporates the Chapel of Santa Caterina.
The portico walls hold another important cycle of 16th-century frescoes, depicting Santa Lucia, Santa Maddalena and Santa Caterina, and the same number of Saints, among whom we can recognize Peter of Verona and Nicholas of Bari.
Inside the church, note the Blessing Christ in mandorla, surrounded by the symbols of the four Evangelists (Mathew, Mark, Luke and John) dominating the Church altar from above, while the two side wings hold the enthroned Doctors of the Church. The pictorial sky would appear to allude at the spread of the holy word and was probably painted by an artist identified as the Master of Sant’Abbondio. The most recent restoration work executed on the walls of this chapel has brought to light the remains of another 14th-centry cycle of frescos, where the splendid fragment of a Crucifixion scene is particularly striking. The painted areas below the three arches show King
David with his harp and scroll (on the mountain wall), an angel waking Prophet Elijah (on the internal wall), and
The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso can also be reached by the
new elevator dug into the rock and built by Varese Province. The elevator is particularly suitable for the elderly and disabled, allowing them to easily cover the 51 metres height difference between Cascine del Quiquio square and the actual entrance to the Hermitage.
This engineering jewel can carry up to 12 people at a time. It was made by digging a shaft 6 metres diameter, 51 metre deep into the rock, connected to a horizontal exit tunnel, 45 metres long, coming out onto a panoramic view of Lago Maggiore.
This daring and spectacular undertaking completes the series of major
restructuring safety works conducted on the whole area on which stands the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso. Particular note should be taken of the stabilisation of the entire rock face above, and the consolidation of the foundations of the Church and of the bell tower, which had become rather precarious due to gravitational movements involving the whole rock mass lying between the Hermitage and the Lake.
Luxury Lake Maggiore Holiday
Corso Umberto 1°, 28838 Stresa, Italia
The Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees is located in Stresa, it lies on the shores of lake Maggiore and combines sumptuous elegance and tradition with the charm of the Italian luxury Grand Hotels.
This small piece of paradise is close to Milano and it is easy to reach from the most important airports of northern Italy: Malpensa airport and Linate airport.
Via V.Veneto, 32 28922 Verbania Piemonte – Italy
Built in 1870, the Grand Hotel Majestic in Verbania is a stunning example of renewed Belle Époque architecture that welcomes guests into its refined and elegant environment while enjoying an enchanting view of the Borromeo Gulf.