Sacro Monte, the "Holy way"

The Sacro Monte of Varese is a devotional complex built on the Velate mountain in the seventeenth century.


The construction of the “Holy Way” was started in 1604 by the Capuchin friar Giovanni Battista Aguggiari, who decided to erect 14 chapels dedicated to the Mysteries of the Rosary along a 2 kilometre-long cobbled path through a great wood of beech, chestnut and hazel.

The 14 chapels each have a portico of a different design, and are embellished with statues and frescoes by the major Lombard artists of the 17th century, including the local artist Pier Francesco Mazzucchelli, called “il Morazzone” after his native village; he was apprenticed in Rome in the studio of Cavalier D’Arpino, who at that time was the teacher of Caravaggio.


  • 9.00 departure from Varese central station
  • 9.30 arrival at the first chapel
  • 10.00 start the itinerary for the 14th chapel (or three plus bus)
  • 11.30 visit  the shrine
  • 12.00 visit the hamlet
  • 12.30 free lunch at Sacro Monte
  • 14.30 departure for the station
  • 15.00 end of the tour

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