Sacro Monte di Oropa, Italy - the important pilgrimage site at the Oropa Sanctuary

Photo of Sacro Monte di Oropa (Piedmont region)

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Visit Sacro Monte di Oropa

The Oropa Sanctuary (Italian: Santuaria d'Oropa) is found near Biella in the northern part of Piedmont, about 80 kilometres north-east of Turin.

It is a very important Italian pilgrimage destination with a reputation for providing relief to the sick and also now a UNESCO listed heritage site. More than 800,000 pilgrims visit Oropa each year.

Visiting the Oropa Sanctuary

It is said that a religious settlement has existed here since the 4th century, when it was founded by Saint Eusebio. The first church was constructed in the 13th century. The current sanctuary includes a substantial church and other buildings that together form an attractive ensemble, enhanced by a peaceful setting in a partially wooded valley.

The main sanctuary complex at Oropa combines various styles of architecture of the 17th - 19th centuries, with baroque and neo-classical among them, and holds many artistic treasures from the same period, many of which can be seen in the museum-gallery on site.

Chapels on hillside at Oropa Sanctuary

The statue of the Black Madonna, brought to the Santuaria d'Oropa by the founder of the sanctuary in the 14th century, is kept in the church, in a chapel that predates the current 17th century church by several centuries.

Other highlights at the Oropa sanctuary include the Royal Gate and Royal Apartments, while to the rear is a second church, built in the 19th-20th centuries.

The grounds around the sanctuary contain 19 chapels, twelve of which lead up the hill and depict scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary using paintings, frescoes, sculptures and other devotional works of art.

Other attractions at Oropa Sanctuary

There are also extensive botanical gardens to explore, and easy access to trails that explore the surrounding countryside.

You can also take the cable car up the mountain to a refuge on Monte Mucrone for some fine views and a starting point for some good walks for example to nearby Lake Mucrone, or further up the mountain to the summit of Monte Mucrone.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Piedmont guide.

See also:

Map of Sacro Monte di Oropa and places to visit

Places to visit near Sacro Monte di Oropa

Fortress of Bard

Fortress of Bard

Both the medieval village and its renowned fortress make Bard a very interesting destination

Fortress of Bard guide

Ivrea

Ivrea

Ivrea has much to discover including the cathedral and some ancient Roman ruins

Ivrea guide

Varallo

Varallo

Varallo is visited for the Sacro Monte di Varallo basilica and extensive series of chapels

Varallo guide

Monte Rosa

Monte Rosa

The sprawling Monta Rosa Massif is the 2nd highest mountain in Italy

Monte Rosa guide

Orta San Giulio

Orta San Giulio

The village of Orta San Giulio is a beautiful village on the east shores of Lake Orta

Orta San Giulio guide

Lake Orta

Lake Orta

Lake Orta with the island of Isola San Giulio and village of Orta San giulio together make a very picturesque small lake

Lake Orta guide