THE SACRED MOUNT OF VARALLO
The monumental complex of the Sacred Mount which dominates Varallo is the oldest of all such structures in Italy. Since 2003 it has been part of the international heritage protected by UNESCO; this acknowledgement testifies to the amazing experience and strong involvement pilgrims feel while visiting the Sacred Mount of Varallo.
Built at the end of the 15th century, it was designed by the Franciscan monk Bernardino Caimi to offer reproductions of the places he had seen during his journey to Palestine. The chapels contain frescoes depicting over 4000 figures as well as groups of life-size statues with real beards and hair in scenes taken from the life of Jesus and Mary as told in the New Testament.
Famous artists contributed to the decoration and completion of this extraordinary project, the most important of whom was Gaudenzio Ferrari, a painter, sculptor and architect from Valsesia who worked here from 1499 until 1529.
Pilgrims can reach the Sacred Mount on foot (the climb takes about 20 minutes) or else by car or cable car.