Sacro Monte of the Holy Trinity at Ghiffa
The Sacro Monte of the Holy Trinity at Ghiffa stands at the foot of Mount Carciago in a magnificent position dominating Lake Maggiore. It is an unfinished Baroque complex inspired by the ideas of San Carlo Borromeo and the architectural models of the Sacri Monti of Orta and Varese.
It is made up of the Sanctuary Church, three chapels and the arcades of the Stations of the Cross, and the whole complex is surrounded by about 200 hectares of a prevalently woodland Nature Reserve.
The three chapels of the Sacro Monte: the first (1647), dedicated to the Coronation of the Virgin Mary, is embellished with an elegant porch and contains a relief in terracotta of the Madonna and several statues in polychrome terracotta of Saints and Prophets; the second (1659), dedicated to St John the Baptist, contains a scene with statues of the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan, and is completely surrounded by a circular portico; the third (1703), with a cruciform ground plan, is preceded by a graceful porch and is dedicated to Abraham, shown in a group of statues in the act of adoration of three angels that represent the Holy Trinity.
The three-bay Sanctuary Church contains the pre-existing image of the Holy Trinity, a painting which reproduces the image of Christ three times.
The Sanctuary Square is surrounded by the portico of the Stations of the Cross, made up of fourteen archways covered with cross-vaults based on stone columns and ending with a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows. The Stations of the Cross were frescoed in 1824 and today include terracotta panels donated by Ghiffa families in 1930.
The protected nature reserve comprises an extensive woodland area with a heritage of rich flora and fauna. Varied and of great beauty are the themed footpaths that guide a visit to this reserve: there is a well-equipped fitness trail, and you will find some intriguing traces of ancient settlements as well as evidence of the religious traditions of the past.
The area of the Nature reserve is almost exclusively made up of woodland which belongs to the local town administration.
HOW TO GET THERE
By car: from the A26 motorway, exit at Gravellona Toce, in the direction of Verbania-Ghiffa. The airport of Malpensa is 44 km away.
By train: the nearest railway station is Verbania-Pallanza at 14km from Ghiffa. From the station you can use the public bus service to reach Ghiffa.
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