Spirits and Wines of Lake Maggiore

Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso is the symbol of Lake Maggiore, Old Hermitage embedded in rock, a short distance to the Angera Grappe and Cascina del Piano, where we rediscover the excellence of the territory of Varese.


Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso

According to tradition, the hermitage was founded by Alberto Besozzi, a rich local merchant who escaped a storm while crossing the lake, decided to retire on that stretch of coast and lead life as a hermit. There the Blessed Alberto had built a chapel dedicated to St. Catherine of Egypt, is currently visible on the back of the church. The chapel, which dates from the twelfth century, was soon joined by two other churches, that of San Nicola and Santa Maria Nova. After an initial period, during which the Dominicans stayed there, from 1314 to 1645,the brothers of the Milanese convent Sant'Ambrogio ad Nemus led the Hermitage , then replaced by the Carmelites until 1770. A great importance has to be given to a miracle at the beginning of the eighteenth century, when five huge boulders "dancers" rushed into the church, but remained entangled in the vault of a chapel, without causing serious damage, remaining suspended for nearly two centuries, until 1910. These "shaky" stones seem to give the name to the hermitage, in full Santa Caterina del Sasso Ballaro, although it is more likely that the etymology of the name is linked to the nearby town of Ballarate. Then, from 1986 to 1996 it was held by a Dominican community, replaced nowadays by the Benedictine oblates.

Azienda Agricola Cascina Piano

Located on the famous shores of Lake Maggiore in Lombardy, between the towns of Angera and Ranco, the farm Cascina Piano is a known reality reference to the quality level of its production of IGT wines "Ronchi Varesini". The quality is pursued by local synthesis, research, innovation and development. The label design inspired by the frescoes of the territories, the first names of the wines referred to the history and local place names, and sayings and rhymes dialect listed on the bottles tell of historical and local artistic values.

Rossi d'Angera Distillers Srl 

The distillery Rossi D'Angera was founded in 1847 in Angera, on the shores of Lake Maggiore. They produce brandies and liqueurs that are the perfect synthesis of craftsmanship, ancient knowledge and Italian spirit.

- Varese 1913, Gold Medal for the production of spirits and liqueurs

- Rome 1931, Prize patent Royal Household for the production of spirits and liqueurs

- Padova 1963, Gold Medal for the production of grappa

- Trento 1973, Gold medal for reserve grappa and personal grappa reserve 


  • At 9:00 am Departure from Sesto Calende
  • Visit Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso
  • Transfer by Cable car of Lago Maggiore and lunch
  • Visit of Agricultural farm Cascina Piano
  • Visit of Rossi D’Angera Distillatori Srl
  • Return to Sesto Calende
  • End of the tour

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