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The Sacro Monte of Varallo

On the rocky spur overlooking the town of Varallo at the end of the fifteenth century, the Franciscan friar Bernardino Caimi dreamed of building a small Holy Land reproducing the main landmarks of Jerusalem linked to the life of Christ and reminding through them, starting from the year 1486, with simple images, paintings or statues, the events that occurred there.
From the early sixteenth century, thanks to the work of Gaudenzio Ferrari, artist  and sculptor, the scenes were populated with three-dimensional statues, life-size and decorated with colorful clothes, beards and hair and natural expressions to involve the believer in the sacred drama.
During the Counter-Reformation, the Sacred Mount was reorganized to become a great way to provide illustrated religious teachings thanks to life-size paintings and statues, checked in content by the bishop of the diocese, but aimed at telling the story of Christ in a realistic and credible way, like many snapshots of real life, by quality artists such as the Fiammenghini, Morazzone, Tanzio da Varallo and Giovanni d'Enrico, Gianoli, Dionigi Bussola and Giovanni Battista Bernero.
The Sacred Mount is also a park-garden, like a great rural Way of the Cross that climbs up the hill, but at the same time it has the appearance of an ancient fortified city built on a rocky hill, with its walls, the monumental entrance door, the two squares, the civil and religious ones resembling those of Jerusalem, palaces with arcades and columns, actual palaces and squares, inhabited, however, by statues and paintings, created between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Sacred Mount represents at the same time a sacred tale, theater, art, architecture, garden and a forest.

Map of the Sacro Monte


mappa Varallo

Download the map: File.pdf





See in detail


Ente di gestione dei Sacri Monti (headquarters ) Valperone, 1 , 15020 Ponzano Monferrato

Phone: +39 0141 927120 Fax: +39 0141 927800 E-mail:

Special Reserve of Sacro Monte of Varallo (local headquarters of Ente di gestione dei Sacri Monti)

Località Sacro Monte 1A , 13019 Varallo

Phone: +39 0163 53938 Fax: +39 063 64047 E-mail: Web Site:

Sanctuary of Maria Assunta - Oblate Fathers

Località Sacro Monte, 3 , 13019 Varallo

Phone: +39 0163 51131 E-mail: Web Site:

Questo portale è un progetto finanziato a valere sui fondi della Legge 20 febbraio 2006, n. 77
Misure speciali di tutela e fruizione dei siti italiani di interesse culturale, paesaggistico e ambientale inseriti nella lista del patrimonio mondiale posti sotto la tutela dell'UNESCO
This work was carried out with funds made available under Law 77 of 20 February 2006

Progetto Interreg "MAIN10ANCE" ID 473472

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