Back in December, I wrote about my difficulty finding the Sacro Monte d’Orta in
this post. I was not able to find it on my first try, but was determined, so I gave it a second try, even changing my plans by taking the later bus back to Stresa. I have always heard about visiting the little island, Isola San Giulio when spending time in Orta San Giulio, but Sacro Monte to me was a much more rewarding visit. It was so peaceful and serene. The air was fresh and cool. I could have spent an entire day at il Sacro Monte d’Orta (or the Sacred Mount of Orta).
It was well worth the effort to hike that hill (twice) even though my legs felt like jelly when I finally reached the Sacro Monte. I met an older couple when I arrived. I think I surprised them as I was huffing and puffing and appeared out of no where at this back entrance that really was not an entrance. They made a comment about my hiking up to Sacro Monte and how my legs must be like wood. I think there was a translation glitch but we laughed just the same. They pointed me in the right direction to find the real entrance so that I could start my journey visiting the 20 chapels.
The arch at the entrance:
There are a series of 20 small chapels at Sacro Monte d’Orta, all of which are dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, along with The New Chapel and the Church of the Saints Nicholas and Francesco. I am going to focus on the 20 chapels in this post and will do another post on The New Chapel and the church.
This description provides a little more information:
On the front of each chapel, you will find a number (written in Roman Numerals) along with a hand pointing to the next chapel.
Because I am directionally challenged, I studied the map to figure out just how to approach my visit of the 20 chapels.
I took photos of each of the chapels I visited so that I could share the beauty of the chapels with all of you. I tried my best to stay in order so I could keep track of which chapel was which along the way.
Information sheets were located inside of the open chapels and outside of the closed chapels, except for Chapel XI. Not sure what happened to that sheet. The information sheets were in Italian, as well as English and I believe German. Because some of the chapels were dark, the photo quality of each of the information sheets varies.
Even though there were little hand pointing signs on each chapel, I never managed to find Chapels XVIII and XIX. Below are photos of the 18 of 20 chapels I visited
If you ever have the opportunity to visit Orta San Giulio, I would highly recommend including a visit to Sacro Monte d’Orta.
**UPDATED: Picasa Web Albums no longer work. Instead of making another slideshow, I decided to make this square tile display of the 18 of 20 chapels that I visited.
(click on any photo to start a slideshow)