Sacro Monte di Ghiffa e Monastero della Santissima Trinità
Surrounded by the green hills above Verbania and overlooking Lake Maggiore, the Sacred Mount of Ghiffa exalts the mistery of the Holy Trinity. The Sanctuary was built in 1605 to welcome all the pilgrims who came here attracted from this miracolous place. Probably the first projects scheduled the building of ten chapels, but this original idea was never realised. Besides the Sanctuary, today the visitors can admire the Chapel of Maria’s Incoronation, the Chapel of Giovanni Battista, which hosts the representation of Jesus’ baptism; also the more recent Abraham Chapel and the original arcade with the fourteen paintings of the Via Crucis. The Special Nature Reserve of Sacro Monte della SS. Trinità of Ghiffa, established in 1987 to protect the buildings of the monumental area and promote and valorize the surrounding environment, is a striking panoramic terrace of 200 hectares of woodland overlooking Lake Maggiore. The monumental baroque complex of the Sacred Mount within the Reserve includes the Sanctuary, three main chapels, the arcade with the Way of the Cross and the two chapels of Getsemani and of Our Lady of Sorrows. The Sacro Monte di Ghiffa, for centuries a center of popular devotion, has always been a meeting point for fairs and open air markets, the typical atmosphere of which is recreated from June to September, every third Sunday of the month, through the Fair of the Holy Trinity. The Reserve offers many pleasant opportunities to enjoy nature with fully equipped picnic areas, numerous trekking trails and two especially marked nature itineraries “Segni sulla pietra” (Marks on stone) and “Una Riserva nel Verde” (A Reserve in the Green). Besides Sacred Mount, Ghiffa proposes to its visitors the Holy Trinity Monastery: the Benedectine sisters live here since 1906. The building is surrounded by a gorgeous natural backdrop, nearby the swiss border: a kind of terrace overlooking Lake Maggiore. The enclosed nuns can also guest foreigns in their Monastery, giving the chance to stay here some days and discover the real values of human life, far from the roar of our modern society.Besides the possibility of individual spiritual retreat, every year the sisters organize some interesting meetings and they also print a magazine, “Deus absconditus”, to update all the haunters of the Monastery.