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Sacri Monti

The Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta and Ossola areas possess a wealth of churches, sanctuaries and religious buildings of different types. The Sacri Monti, complexes of chapels with life-sized tableaux of statues set in wooded hilltop locations, are a highly distinctive feature of the area, combining history, art, religion and nature in a unique blend.

Pride of place might go to the Calvary Sacro Monte of Domodossola, a nature reserve and, together with the other Sacri Monti, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It stands on the Mattarella Hill and with its 15 chapels of the Way of the Cross is one of the main artistic, cultural and religious attractions of the Ossola area. Lake Orta has the Special Nature Reserve of the Sacro Monte of Orta, a pilgrims’ trail comprising twenty frescoed chapels illustrating the life of St Francis of Assisi.

Last but not least, the Sacro Monte of the Holy Trinity of Ghiffa is located in an enchanting position with views of Lake Maggiore from a height of 360 metres a.s.l. The unfinished Baroque complex was inspired by the architectural models of the Sacri Monti of Orta and Varese.