Hermitages and sanctuaries on Lake Garda

Lake Garda and its surroundings offer many opportunities to visit sanctuaries and hermitages for anyone of religious faith or for those who want to visit holy, spritual places.

We have collected here the most popular and the most impressive Marian sanctuaries and hermitages of Lake Garda, which can be reached on foot, by bicycle or by car.

 

The four most beautiful sanctuaries on Lake Garda

You can visit the sanctuaries of Lake Garda on foot, by car or by bicycle.

We have summarised the most useful information about the four most beautiful sanctuaries on Lake Garda: the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Frassino in Peschiera del Garda, the Sanctuary or Basilica of the Madonna della Corona in Caprino Veronese, the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Montecastello in Tignale and the Santuario del Carmine in San Felice del Benaco.

 

Sanctuary of the Madonna del Frassino in Peschiera del Garda

You can reach the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Frassino by taking the Gardesana road or following the ring road from Sirmione to Peschiera del Garda, and entering the hinterland from Via Frassino.

Reaching this Marian sanctuary means leaving behind the bright atmosphere of the lake to immerse yourself in the colours of the moraine hills and a more intimate and spiritual environment.

Santuario della Madonna del Frassino a San Felice del Benaco
Sanctuary of the Madonna del Frassino – Source: wikimedia – Author: Dguendel

It was here that, responding to a farmer’s request for help, the Madonna appeared on an ash tree and frightened away a snake, thus giving rise to today’s place of worship (Frassino is Ash tree in Italian).

Today it is possible to visit the church that has impressive works of art and frescoes and the large cloister, adjacent to the Franciscan monastery, which houses the votive offerings of those to whom the Virgin has given graces.

 

Basilica of the Madonna della Corona Sanctuary in Caprino Veronese

From Sirmione you can reach the town of Spiazzi in Caprino Veronese and the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Corona by driving along the ring road as far as Peschiera and then up the motorway to Affi. From there you will have to continue on the provincial roads to Spiazzi and then for a stretch on foot along the path to the sanctuary.

Santuario Basilica della Madonna della Corona a Caprino Veronese
Basilica of the Madonna della Corona Sanctuary – Ph. Casolari Alessandra

Rising up in the mountains of Verona, clinging to a rock on Mount Baldo, the impressive Sanctuary or Basilica of the Madonna della Corona is a place of spirituality and silence whose origins are attested in the Middle Ages.  Today it’s church has become a destination of pilgrimage.

 

Sanctuary of the Madonna di Montecastello in Tignale

To reach the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Montecastello in Tignale from Sirmione, follow the Gardesana Occidentale road until you get to provincial road 38. You can reach the Marian sanctuary complex by car, parking in the small car park, or on foot, leaving your car a few hundred metres away.

Sanctuary of the Madonna di Montecastello
Sanctuary of the Madonna di Montecastello – Credits: Tignale Tourist Office

Rising high above the lake and offering a marvellous view of the surrounding scenery, the Sanctuary of Montecastello in Tignale is linked to the Madonna della Stella, the miraculous apparition of a star that ended a battle between the Trentino and Brescia.

The church is worth a visit for its fine frescoes, one of which is attributed to the school of Giotto.

 

Sanctuary of the Carmine at San Felice del Benaco

From Sirmione you can reach the Santuario del Carmine in San Felice del Benaco by following provincial road 572 towards Salò and then turning towards San Felice.

This Church celebrated its jubilee in 2015.  Its origins are linked to a chapel built in 1452, dedicated to Our Lady of the Cisterns, due to the abundance of water in the area. The Marian sanctuary built by the Carmelites was consecrated in 1482, but abandoned in 1770, until the complex was reopened in 1952 and the new convent was built.

Santuario del Carmine di Peschiera
Sanctuary of the Carmine – Source: Wikimedia – Ph. Wolfgang Moroder

The church is a place of meditation amidst the olive trees and has many well-preserved frescoes dedicated to the saints, created as votive offerings from the faithful for graces received.

 

Hermitages on Lake Garda

These are places of contemplation and reflection.  The hermitages of Lake Garda and their inhabitants found a pleasant setting in the natural quiet landscape of the area, which induces meditation.

You can reach the Hermitage of San Paolo in Arco and the Hermitage of San Colombano in Trambileno by car or on foot, using our suggested itineraries.

 

Hermitage of San Paolo in Arco

If you would like to visit the Hermitage of Arco, from Sirmione take the A22 motorway at Peschiera del Garda and exit at Rovereto Sud, then follow the signs for Riva and Dro.

Eremo di San Paolo ad Arco
Hermitage of San Paolo in Arco – Source: Wikimedia Author: Airon90

The Hermitage of San Paolo in Arco is one of the oldest hermitages in Trentino history: the altar was consecrated in 1186.

The very simple building consists of a hall and the room once occupied by the hermits: the hermitage is built in a niche under a rock that also serves as a roof. The external stone staircase and terrace can be visited even when the hermitage is closed.

In the hall and on the outside are beautiful frescoes depicting the life of St Paul and the Last Supper.

The hermitage is generally closed but can be opened on request. More info here.

 

Hermitage of San Colombano at Trambileno

You can reach the Hermitage of San Colombano at Trambileno from Sirmione by taking the A22 from Peschiera to Rovereto Sud, then following the SP23 and the SS46. You have to park your car and hike along a path.

The hermitage is perched on one of the walls of the ravine that was created over the centuries by the Leno river and the rock also acts as a wall for part of the building. It is accessible via a staircase of 102 steps carved into the rock.

Eremo di San Colombano a Trambileno
Hermitage of San Colombano – Source: Wikimedia Author: Gmahlert

Inside there are frescoes depicting the struggle between good and evil represented by the clash between Saint Columbanus and a dragon which, according to legend, occupied this area during ancient times, only to be defeated by the saint.

It is advisable to contact the tourist agency Azienda per il Turismo Rovereto e Vallagarina for opening times.

 

Hermitages and sanctuaries on Lake Garda: the map

If you want to visit these sanctuaries and hermitages, you can find them all on the map below:

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