Two strongholds overlooking Lake Maggiore

The Lombard shore of Lake Maggiore is wilder and rougher than the western one.
Two impressive monuments are perched on the rocks overlooking the lake; a fortress and a convent, two symbols of the ancient civic and religious powers

Transfer from Stresa or Baveno by private car/minivan. Meeting with a licensed tourist guide at Angera. Guided visit to the so-called Rocca d’Angera. The Stronghold is perched on a rocky spur overlooking Lake Maggiore. It was built on a previous structure by order of Milan archbishops in XII century and two noble families, The Torrianis and The Viscontis, contended for it over the centuries. The victory of the latter corresponded to the extension and embellisment of its interiors. The Justice Room is extraordinarily beautiful and it houses a cycle of frescoes made by an anonimous artist called “Angera Master” in XIII century. The Doll and the Toy Museum is housed in the Rocca. Individual lunch. Transfer to Leggiuno by private car/minivan. Guided visit to the Hermitage of Saint Catherine. It was founded by the merchant Alberto Besozzi in 1170. His boat was overturned by Mergozzo wind near Sasso Ballaro. He desperately invoked St. Catherine of Alexandria and he was miraculously saved. In fulfillment of his vow, he retired from his business and started a solitary life in a cave. Some years later grateful to the Saint for their being saved from the plague, Alberto asked the inhabitants to build a votive chapel dedicated to St. Catherine similar the one overtopping Mount Sinai. The hermit died in 1205 and was buried near St. Catherine’s chapel. People were used to coming to his tomb to pray for graces and cures. Gradually, a small monastery was erected on the site in XIV century and then it was enlarged as to become the nowadays’s monumental complex including four different parts: the Small Convent, the Southern Convent, the Press Courtyard and the Church, rich in art and faith. Superb its location, clinging to the rock near the deepest zone of the lake. The convent is an ideal destination for its peace and spirituality as well.Back to Stresa/Baveno.

 

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