Guided Walking Tours near Stresa and lake Maggiore: Domodossola and the Sacred Mount Calvary, a Unesco Heritage Site. Cultural itineraries and religious routes. Art, nature and culture in the Italian Lake District
A guided tour suitable for small groups, couples and individuals.
Visit to Domodossola: the old town and the Sacro Monte Calvario, a place of art and nature
Cultural itineraries and pilgrimage routes near lake Maggiore
Chance to get by car from Domodossola to the Sacred Mount Calvary
"What difference does it make if we follow different routes, provided we arrive at the same destination"
- Mahatma Gandhi
Domodossola is the starting point for the famous and memorable Centovalley Train excursion and Lake Maggiore Express Tour. But you may consider spending half a day visiting this gorgeous and elegant border town at the foot of the Alps following a walking itinerary.
We will visit the old town preserving many interesting old buildings and pedestrian streets. Then we will walk uphill making our way to the Sacred Mount, a Unesco Heritage Site. A journey back in time immersed in nature and art in the high Ossola valley's picturesque scenery.
The first chapel of the Sacro Monte is located in the town, at the foot of Mattarella promontory where the via crucis begins. Then the devotion route, following an old cobblestone path, leads up to the top of the hill where we find the Sanctuary of the Crucifix, the first building of the religious complex to be built in 1657.
The 15 chapels dedicated to the Passion of Christ house terracotta, plaster and wooden statues as well as many frescoes that were made and painted by good artists over three centuries, such as Dionigi Bussola who left his artworks also at the Sacred Mount of Orta San Giulio and Giovanni Sampietro.
The catholic philosopher Antonio Rosmini lived there different periods of his life where he founded a religious Order called "the Institute of Charity". Today this site is an important centre of Rosminian spirituality as well as the seat of the Rosminian Novitiate in Italy.
In 2003 this religious complex along with 8 other Sacred Mounts was inscribed on the List of World Heritage Sites by Unesco. It's a protected area - the Nature Reserve of Domodossola's Sacred Mount - which also includes the House of Prayer where the Rosminian fathers live as well as the remains of the medieval castle of Mattarella that once stood on this promontory overlooking Domodossola.
We can meet at Domodossola where it's easy to arrive by car, by coach and by train or I can meet you on lake Maggiore. We will visit the town centre and the old town walking along nice streets and alleys. Then we'll make our way to the Sacred Mount Calvary. We will follow an ancient cobblestone track (large and easy) stopping in front of the chapels that slowly - in about 20 minutes' walk - lead up to the top of Mattarella Hill and end up in the Sanctuary of the Crucifix. After the visit we will walk back to the town centre.
This walking itinerary IS NOT suitable for people with walking difficulties, even though it's an easy walk
If you are a maximum of 4 people and wish to visit the Sacred Mount Calvary from Domodossola without walking, chance to get there by car
This itinerary is suitable for small ready-made groupes, families, couples or individuals
This walking itinerary follows urban streets first and then a large and easy cobblestone path uphill through the woods
For a more detailed description of Domodossola and for the Centovalley train trip, please click on the following link: Domodossola and the scenic Centovalli / Vigezzina train to Locarno. Lago Maggiore Express round trip