Eremo di Santa Caterina del Sasso

Eremo di Santa Caterina del Sasso

Eremo di Santa Caterina del Sasso
4.5
9:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 7:30 PM
About
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Popular mentions

4.5
1,279 reviews
Excellent
898
Very good
312
Average
55
Poor
6
Terrible
8

Pam W of Neavitt
Maryland43 contributions
Aug 2022 • Couples
We took the public ferry from Stresa to this magnificent grotto on Lake Maggiore. Both the ride and the monastery are well worth the trip, particularly on a beautiful day. The Church is filled with medieval art and is very beautiful and it is impressive how the entire monastery is carved out of the side of the mountain.
Written August 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mexicofriend
London510 contributions
Jun 2012 • Couples
My wife and I travelled to Lago Maggiore in June 2012 and decided to visit the Eremo Santa Caterina del Sasso on our way to Lago di Como.

If you travel by car, the eremo is easily reached by following the SP69 road from Sesto Calende and Laveno. If you travel from the western part of Lago Maggiore, it would take you approximately 45 minutes to an hour to reach the eremo (from Lesa area).

Once you reached the eremo, you will find a car park which is free. At the time we travelled, there were not too many visitors which made finding a free spot on the car park very easy, but I would not be surprised if it gets very busy at times. Also be warned that the eremo is closed during lunch time and opens at 14:30 in the afternoon. You can find all the visit information on their website, which is in English too!!!

From the car park you have 2 options, either walking down the stairs or using the lift. Personally I would suggest that you walk down the stairs once you arrive (if you are able enough to walk down the stairs). From there you will find incredible views of the lake and many photo opportunities. The walk down is quite challenging though, with many many steps, 288 in total!!!! If you really do not want to walk down, use the lift, it is 50 cents up and same for the trip down. The lift can be reached from the entrance at the top of the cliff. Another alternative is to use the boat to get there, from the dock it is about 80 steps so a lot less challenging.

Once arrived at the eremo, be prepared to step into a magical place. The hermitage dates from the 12th century and history tells that it was created by a local merchant who survived a storm on the lake and decided to live his life as a hermit and give all his money to the poor. Years after year, the hermitage grew and a church was built on the site. This is now the site you can visit in these days. Inside the church, it is possible to admire various frescoes dating from the 16th century, some of which might have been restored (very colourful indeed). At the back of the church you will find the remain damage from the event that occurred in the 18th century… 5 rocks fell into the vault of the church and stayed in there without serious damage to the church and remained suspended in there for nearly 2 centuries until the early 1900’s.

The hermitage is free to get in but it is always nice to leave a donation… Make sure you enjoy as much as you can the view and the beauty of this magical site perched above the lake against the face of the cliff.
Written July 9, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Niki B
Athens221 contributions
Aug 2014 • Friends
It was my favorite place around the lakes, where we have spent a week in August.
Its very easy to go there by car or by boat (we took the public boat from Stesa, just opossite). There are a few options for selecting the time to go there by boat, the last one is 4.15 from Stresa, and going back at 5.15 or similar.
The Monastery is beautifully restored..You can see some common areas facing the lake, and a part of the church, with very old frescoes. if you are lucky enough you can hear prayers and singing psalmodies..
Then you can take a lift, going up to the level of the road (where there is a restaurant) and going back from the steps to catch the ferry. The views are lovely, the gardens the same.
Written September 7, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JaneBR09
Elwood, Australia131 contributions
Apr 2012 • Couples
We were staying in Stresa situated south-west of the widest part of Lago Maggiore and Santa Caterina is on the other side of this widest part of the lake. We took the lovely 15 minute ferry ride across the beautiful, blue, calm, glassy waters of the lake.
An absolute must to arrive at Santa Caterina by boat - you arrive at a cliff face which has an ancient church and monastery built into it and now a landing point has been added. What a sight! It was so beautiful! We got off and climbed the stone steps to the path that led to the monastery. The staff on duty were all Alpini with their recognisable hats with the single feather. The history of this monastery is that is was built in the 12th century, was abandoned as a monastery in the 1600s and became a hostel, then later it became a tavern and eventually it was again abandoned and badly damaged by vandals. It's being carefully restored and we felt very privileged to see such a place. Highly recommend a visit.
Written October 16, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Graham H
Bognor Regis, UK89 contributions
May 2018 • Couples
If you are staying in Stresa and have a morning spare I would do as we did and catch the 09.50 ferry this will give you 1 hour 30 mins to look round, this is plenty. We always take time to make sure we see everything and 1 hour is plenty here. You can then catch the 11.40 ferry back. Do not waste an afternoon here. Saying all that what you see is very interesting and we did enjoy the visit. This site is closed 12.00 - 14.00.
Written May 31, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Richard and Christine
Eastbourne, UK41 contributions
May 2018 • Couples
We caught the ferry from Stresa at 1130 arriving at 1145. We were not aware that the monastery closed from 1200 till 1400. And when I say closed I mean closed. The chapel closed, the individual buildings closed, the footpaths closed. We were able to walk up to the top area where there was a restaurant which was closed, there was a cafe open but naively I decided not to have a drink there but to walk back down the 240 steps to the boat staging area thinking there would be somewhere for a drink. We had about 90 minutesl to wait for the next boat so we walked back down only to find absolutely nothing open even the boat ticket office was closed, so we sat waiting for the next boat for over an hour. The monastery is a lovely place to visit but beware it closes from 1200 to 1400 so chose your timings carefully, well worth a visit, but you have been warned.
Written May 29, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christina m
Symington49 contributions
Sep 2016
Go first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds, this intimate spiritual place is best viewed in relative solitude. A 15 minute ferry ride across Lake Maggiore from Stresa, the Hermitage clings to the side of a cliff, well above the water. There is also access by an elevator down through the rock from a car park above on the eastern (Ispra) side of the lake. Entry is free, but donations are encouraged just the same as they are in most Italian churches. You must take time to study the frescoes, they are very old, but the colours so vibrant, considering the neglect over the last century. The last building is the chapel, the oldest part of the Hermitage. There is another fresco here, and a shrine to St. Catherine, all very simple and moving.
Outside you can see the original cave, an ancient olive press, and the resident cat hiding among the statues. There are toilets, but no other facilities except a shaded picnic area with expansive views across the lake.
Written September 13, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JRNParis
Paris40 contributions
Aug 2011 • Family
This is one of the most beautiful places on Lago Maggiore!... BE SURE TO GO THERE BY BOAT ; because it's all about turning around - when you reach the hermitage - and looking over the lake... It is also most spectacular when the sun is at the West ; and that you are blinded by the divine light.
Getting there by car is possible but really takes away most of the magic.
(note that there are quite some steps ; wherever you come from)
Written May 17, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lisa_C_Malta
Santa Lucija, Malta219 contributions
Sep 2011 • Couples
We were staying in central Milan & we took a train to Laveno. From there we bought an open ticket to cruise Lago Maggiore (approx EUR40 for both of us). We visited many places on the lake amongst which were Isola Madre, Isola Bella, Isola Pescatore & Stresa but the place that impressed us most was l'Eremo di Santa Caterina.

The place itself is built within the rocks and the views are amazing. You can see Lago Maggiore beneath you from every side. There is a stairway leading up to the mountain top. The views from there are not as spectacular as the ones from l-Eremo but some views along the way as you climb are worth seeing. There is also a little chapel inside l'Eremo that dates back to the 12th century.

Definitely worth going!
Written September 24, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

traveltheglobe
Singapore, Singapore723 contributions
Oct 2018 • Couples
This place completely blew me away. As the ferry approaches Santa Caterina, I was amazed at what I saw, a post card perfect picture of a monastery perched on the cliff overlooking Lake Maggiore. After disembarking from the ferry, there is a short ascent up a flight of stairs and voila, you’ll be welcomed by very picturesque views of the monastery set against the cliff and the lake. The monastery is small but beautiful. Entrance is free. We stayed in Stresa and it is a very convenient ferry ride here. Takes only about 15mins ride and costs 6.80 euros for a return trip. Took the 0950 ferry, returned to Stresa at 1030 and still had a full day to explore the other islands around the lake.
Written October 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Eremo di Santa Caterina del Sasso, Leggiuno