- Private Boat Tour of the Hermitage of Santa Caterina
An escorted private tour with guide from Stresa, Baveno, Verbania: the hermitage of Santa Caterina with a boat tour / cruise from the western shore of lake Maggiore
This will be a private tour, Lake Maggiore Stresa Tours does not offer shared tours but only on-demand tours
Group tours are only available if you are a ready-made group
This guided excursion is available for ready-made groups, small parties, families, couples, private individuals
The tour of the hermitage of Santa Caterina can start in the morning or in the afternoon at the time that is most convenient for you and can be combined with a tour of the Borromeo islands
Lengtht of visit: approx. 1 and a half hours including boat rides by private boat. It can take longer by ferry that runs at scheduled times.
Meeting point: your hotel lobby or landing stage in Stresa, Baveno or Verbania
The hermitage of Saint Catherine - Santa Caterina del Sasso - lies on the lombard shore of lake Maggiore in an incredible position, clinging to the steep rocks framing this part of the lake. The hermitage can be accessed via a long stairway that leads from the village of Leggiuno on top of the cliff down to the hermitage (more or less 270 steps).
A much easier alternative is the practical lift at little cost. However, the most spectacular way to arrive at the hermitage of Santa Caterina is by boat as this is the best way to admire the unique beauty of the buildings that make up this special religious complex built on a cliff that drops straight into the lake. The history of the hermitage of Santa Caterina goes back centuries. It dates back to the second half of the 12th century when Alberto Besozzi - who was a native of this land - invoked St. Catherine of Alexandria to be saved after shipwreck during a heavy storm.
After reaching the shore safely, he became a hermit and spent the remaining thirty-five years of his life in a cave, thus becoming an important spiritual reference point for people living in the surrounding area who used to ask him for help whenever there was a problem. After his death, some shrines were erected. The same shrines were then incorporated into the 16th-century church still welcoming visitors today.
Different religious orders lived here throughout the centuries: Augustinians, hermits of Saint Ambrose, Carmelites, these latter ones were the last friars to abandon the hermitage
in 1770, after the decision to suppress all convents with less than 12 people. Such a decision was then ratified by empress Maria Theresa of Austria.
From the western shore of lake Maggiore (in Piedmont) the hermitage can be reached by boat cruising from Stresa, Verbania Pallanza, Baveno and Arona.
This sightseeing tour of the hermitage of St. Catherine starts from Stresa, Baveno, Verbania pallanza or Intra. We will sail towards the eastern shore of lake Maggiore thus arriving at the pier at the foot of the convent. My suggestion is to combine the visit to the hermitage with a visit to the Isole Borromee (the Borromeo Islands) or to Isola Bella. The visit to the hermitage will take about forty-five minutes, that's why it is possible to add other landmarks.