Hermitage of Santa Caterina Lake Maggiore Italy – The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful destinations on Lake Maggiore due to its particularity and characteristics. The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso is set on the rock overlooking the lake and offers an evocative setting. Furthermore, the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso is easily accessible from various locations. Where is it? How to get the Hermitage of Santa Caterina? How much does it cost? In this post will answer to this and other questions.
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A little bit of history
Tradition has it that the Hermitage was founded by a wealthy local merchant who once escaped a storm on Lake Maggiore and decided to retire here to lead the life of a hermit. Indeed this stretch of Lake Maggiore is not the wrong place to retreat to a quiet life! The Hermitage underwent various developments from the 12th century until it reached its current appearance and function.
Video Hermitage of Santa Caterina
Watch the following video, where you can find out some helpful information on how to get to the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso and where you can also discover the history of this place.
Text of the video
Here below is the transcription of the text of the video so you can get better the information included in the video.
Hi Everybody, our next stop? The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso Lake Maggiore Italy.
The Hermitage of Santa Caterina is in my Top 10 things to see on Lake Maggiore.
It is an extraordinary place as it is set in the rock directly overlooking the waters of Lake Maggiore.
The Hermitage of Santa Caterina is a few kilometers from Laveno.
How to get to the Hermitage?
You have 2 options: by car or by boat.
If you choose the car option, you have to know that once you have parked the car, you have to go down a long staircase of 268 steps, which you then have to go up on the way back.
However, there is the possibility of taking the lift for a fee.
However, the best option to get to the Hermitage of Santa Caterina is by boat.
Much of the beauty, charm, and uniqueness of the hermitage can be appreciated when you observe it from the lake.
You can take the boat to the Hermitage of Santa Caterina from different locations: from Laveno, Stresa, and Verbania Pallanza for example.
Once you arrive at the Hermitage, you don’t need a lot of time to visit it: its main elements are a portico, a courtyard, and a small church.
What is the history of the Hermitage of Santa Caterina?
You can read some historical notes and other information in the subtitles while we still enjoy some scenes of the Hermitage.
According to tradition, the Hermitage was founded in 1170 by Alberto Besozzi, a wealthy local merchant.
This merchant escaped a shipwreck during a lake crossing.
So he made a vow to Saint Catherine to retire for the rest of his life in prayer and solitude in a cave on that stretch of coast and lead a hermit’s life there.
He then had a chapel dedicated to Santa Caterina built, currently visible at the bottom of the church. The chapel dates back to the 12th century.
The chapel was flanked by two other churches built by some Ispra nobles: San Nicola and Santa Maria Nova.
The existence of the two churches is certain, starting from the fourteenth century.
As you can see, our visit is over. At this point, I greet you. Bye, and see you on the next adventure!
Useful information for the Hermitage of Santa Caterina
Below is some useful information for your visit to the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso.
Where is Santa Caterina del Sasso located?
The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso is located on the Lombard shore of Lake Maggiore a few km from Laveno.
How to get to Santa Caterina del Sasso?
The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso can be reached in various ways from different locations on Lake Maggiore. Let’s now see how to get to Santa Caterina del Sasso from:
- Verbania Pallanza
- Verbania Intra
Santa Caterina del Sasso how to get there from Laveno
Reaching Santa Caterina del Sasso from Laveno is very simple as you can do it comfortably by car. The Hermitage of Santa Caterina is located on a lower level than where you park your car.
To get to the level of the Hermitage, the fittest can use the staircase made up of 268 steps. Use of the ladder is free.
Those who want more comfort or simply cannot use the stairs can use the lift. Use of the lift is subject to a fee (in August 2021 the cost was 1 euro).
Santa Caterina del Sasso how to get there from Stresa
The most convenient way to get to the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso is from Stresa. In fact, from Stresa you can take the boat that takes you directly to the Hermitage. The greatest advantage of arriving by boat is that of seeing the Hermitage from the lake.
The Hermitage of Santa Caterina is particularly characteristic because it is built overlooking the rock. This feature can be appreciated especially when you observe Santa Caterina del Sasso from the Lake.
When you arrive by boat you disembark at a slightly lower level than the one where the Hermitage is located. Only a few steps separate you from the visit. In this case the effort from an athletic point of view is minimal.
Santa Caterina del Sasso how to get there from Verbania Pallanza
It is also possible to take the boat from the Verbania Pallanza pier to get to the Hermitage. There are boats that leave from Verbania Pallanza and go directly to the Hermitage and others that instead stop in Stresa.
Here are the verified April 2023 boat departure times from Verbania Pallanza to the Hermitage of Santa Caterina:
- direct boats: 8.15 am, 10.05 am, 4.30 pm.
- with a stopover in Stresa: 1.15 pm, 2.15 pm, 3.30 pm
Usually I prefer to stop in Stresa, because you are not forced to take the next boat to the Hermitage.
Instead, by taking the next boat to your connection, you have the opportunity to have an ice cream in Stresa and take a stroll in this magnificent town on Lake Maggiore.
From the Pallanza pier, take the boat, get off at Stresa and with the same ticket purchased in Pallanza take the boat then to the Hermitage.
If you go in the afternoon I advise you to carefully evaluate the times as there are fewer boats.
By taking the boat to the Hermitage from Pallanza, for around 12-13 euros per person, you can take a beautiful panoramic tour of Lake Maggiore.
You pass by Isola Madre, by Baveno, you see Isola Pescatori, Isola Bella and Stresa from the lake.
You can take a nice walk around Stresa and then see the Hermitage of Santa Caterina from the lake and finally visit it. Truly a beautiful tour!
Santa Caterina del Sasso how to get there from Verbania Intra
From Verbania Intra you can take the ferry to Laveno and also take your car on board. This way you can reach the Hermitage by car.
Entrance ticket price to the Hermitage of Santa Caterina
Here are the entrance prices for the Hermitage of Santa Caterina verified in April 2023 is 5 euro per single ticket.
Santa Caterina del Sasso where to eat
At the level of the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso there are no restaurants or bars. It is however possible to bring your lunch and eat in the area adjacent to the Hermitage.
To find a bar you have to go up the steps or use the elevator. If you come from Stresa I still recommend you organize lunch not at the Hermitage but in Stresa.
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