Santa Caterina del Sasso

Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso is a Roman Catholic monastery located in the municipality of Leggiuno, in the Province of Varese and the region of Lombardy, Italy. It is settled on top of a rocky ridge on the eastern shore of Lake Maggiore offering pilgrims and visitors alike sweeping views that overlook the water.

The Santa Caterina hermitage was founded by a rich merchant, Alberto Besozzi. As the story goes, involved in a shipwreck, Besozzi placed his trust in Saint Catherine of Alessandria and made a vow of penitence should he be saved. The merchant saved himself by grasping onto the rocks and as promised, he retreated there to become a hermit: the hermitage was founded in that place.

The hermitage can only be reached on foot, by descending a steep flight of steps from the above built-up area, or from the lake. A lift dug out from the rock was inaugurated in 2010 to facilitate access from the car park above. The true monastic complex dates back to the 1300’s.

The hermitage has a rich calendar of liturgical celebrations and events throughout the entire year. The concerts have become very popular at the end of July and are in connection with Stresa’s Settimane Musicali.

Read what others share about their experience

  • Amanda G
    a month ago
    Amazing place. Really beautiful setting. Unfortunately boats weren't running but we drove and parked...
  • Alina
    a month ago
    So happy we decided we visit this place. So peaceful, so beautiful. Gorgeous Oh and ! The best view...
  • Filmenas life videos
    in the last week
    Fantastic place. Many steps, nice view.
  • Wahca
    11 months ago
    A recommended visit if you are into architecture and history. The hermitage is the only building on...
  • José Luis
    a week ago
    Convent really beautiful. The ticket and the elevator are totally worthy

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