THE "SACRI MONTI OF PIEDMONT AND LOMBARDY" - UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE
Alpine valleys, hills, vineyards, lake views are the natural settings embracing the Sacred Mounts of the Alps, seven in Piedmont and two in Lombardy, that with their enchanting landscapes, history and architectures, hosting precious works of art, have been included in the UNESCO world heritage list since July 2003.
The Sacred Mounts consist of prestigious architectural complexes standing on hill tops and structured in a series of chapels with paintings and sculptures representing Christ’s story, Holy Mary and the Saints’ life or the mysteries of the Rosary. The works by famous artists from the XV-XIX century include life-size statues reproducing gestures, features and expressions of impressive realism.
This communicative pattern became quite popular after the Catholic Reformation to tell in an enthralling and evocative way the sacred story, always under the watchful eye of the Church.
Their story started at the end of the XV century with the Sacred Mount of Varallo, where a Franciscan Friar, Bernardino Caimi, wanted to reproduce a few locations of the Holy Land connected to Jesus Christ’s life.
First-rate artists of the Piedmontese and Lombard cultural panorama contributed to the success of the project.
These locations have become destinations for art-centered tourism where nature and culture celebrate the values of spirituality.