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Art and Spirituality Plunged in the Nature: the Holy Mount of Varese

Among the mountains above the city of Varese is situated a little village built in the XVI century around the ancient nuns’ monastery.

The Holy Mount of Varese is one of the nine Holy Mountains protect by UNESCO (the others are in Piedmont and Lombardy).

Place of pilgrimage since Middle Age, it hosted Pope John Paul the II during his pilgrimage in 1984.

We can arrive at the Shrine, richly decorated with stuccos and sculptures of Baroque age (where there is shield the sculpture of black Virgin Mary); parking in the near car park, arriving by bus or using the historical cable car.

For those who want to enjoy the panorama and the artistic beauty of 14 chapels, go along the incline (named “Via Sacra” – “Holy Street”) of sculptures and frescos that depict Passion’s scenes.

On the top, we can see the splendid view on the city of Varese, which in windy days, allows us to see Milan and the “Madonnina” of the Dome; like making a connection between the symbol of Milan and the Virgin of Varese.

In front of the Shrine’s entrance, there is a big sculpture (very debated) of Pope Paul the VI, made by the artist Silvano Colombo.

Entering the church, you will see a gold baroque treasure.

Leaving from the main door, we find Museo Butti where the shield of the “Holy Mount dragon” remains (a reptile that lived in those woods) and was killed by a Swiss farmer in XIV century.

Walking in the village’s alleys, we can immerse ourselves in a world frozen in time.

A little further away, the historical Hotel-Restaurant “Caffè del Borducan”: beautiful building in Liberty style that sells a delicious orange-flavored liquor named “Borducan Elisir”.

The Holy Mount is an oasis of history, art, and spirituality near Varese; destination of vacation, pilgrimage, strolls and excursions for all visitors that want spend a day in peace and serenity.

By Davide Corsini.

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