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  1. 1Day 1 Sacro Monte Varese

    Note: The guided tour includes the sacred way, which requires a good ability to walk. For those not interested in the chapel route, we suggest signing up for the guided tour of the Lodovico Pogliaghi House Museum and the village of Santa Maria del Monte.

    Built on the mountain of Velate between 1604 and 1698, the Sacro Monte di Varese stands alongside the Sacro Monte di Varallo as one of the Sacred Mountains of Piedmont and Lombardy. These architectural complexes were recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites in 2003 for their spiritual and artistic significance. Promoted by the Counter-Reformation Church to strengthen the devotion of the faithful against the Protestant Reformation, the Sacro Monte di Varese consists of a sacred way approximately 2 km long, punctuated by fourteen chapels that illustrate the mysteries of the Rosary.

    The guided tour will begin with the sacred way, allowing visitors to admire the decorations of each chapel. Polychrome terracotta sculptural groups, created by artists such as Francesco Silva, Dionigi Bussola, and Marco Antonio Prestinari (the latter also worked at the Milan Cathedral), are perfectly set within frescoes that either represent a vast landscape, simulate an architectural interior, or narratively include other characters in the depicted events. Notable painters involved include Pier Francesco Mazzucchelli, known as il Morazzone (VII chapel, 1609), Antonio Busca (X chapel, 1668-71), and Stefano Maria Legnani, known as il Legnanino (XIV chapel, circa 1710).

    At the end of the sacred way, leading to the village of Santa Maria del Monte, the tour will continue with a visit to the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary today features grandiose 17th-century frescoes within sumptuous Baroque stuccoes, which replaced the late 15th-century decorations from the transformation of a previous Romanesque building promoted by Galeazzo Maria Sforza. The church’s historical layers are well documented by the recently restored Romanesque crypt, which contains fresco fragments from various periods.

    Walking through the charming streets of the village, we will finally arrive at the Lodovico Pogliaghi House Museum. This residence, designed by the Milanese artist Pogliaghi (painter, sculptor, architect, and scenographer), was intended as a workshop-museum where he could indulge his passions: artistic creation, study, collecting, and landscape contemplation. Crossing the courtyard scattered with antiquities, we enter the villa, a true reflection of Pogliaghi’s eclectic taste, evident in both the vast collections and the specific furnishings of each room. Highlights include the oriental-inspired Golden Gallery, replicating the luxurious ceiling Pogliaghi created for the shah of Persia’s bath hall, the Exedra (inspired by the Pantheon in Rome) housing Pogliaghi’s rich archaeological collection, and the Atelier room featuring the original plaster cast of the central door of the Milan Cathedral.

    A final look at the surrounding scenic panorama will conclude this stimulating itinerary through the Campo dei Fiori Natural Park, blending art, nature, and devotion.


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From monday to friday
9-13 and 14-18

0039 02-7259931