Let's go on a journey of discovery to the most beautiful hermitages in Italy.

In the midst of untouched nature, with views of valleys, the sea and magnificent landscapes, mostly only accessible on foot, we embark on a journey to the most spectacular places of prayer in Italy: the hermitages, also known as Eremi. These sacred places, once used by hermits and often inaccessible, can now be visited to find peace and quiet and, above all, to enjoy the magnificent views.

Eremo di San Colombano, Trentino, Italy

1. hermitages in Italy: San Colombano hermitage, Trentino

The location of the San Colombano hermitage is truly spectacular. The buildings seem to merge with the 120 m high rock. To reach the hermitage, you have to climb over a hundred steps into the rock. According to legend, Saint Columban killed the dragon that caused the death of the baptized children in the waters of the Leno stream in the valley. The hermitage of San Colombano was used by hermit monks for meditation in complete seclusion until 1782.

 

Hermitage of San Colombano, Trentino-Alto Adige

The spectacular hermitage of San Colombano, above Rovereto, Trentino, Italy. (Photo © Shutterstock.com)

2. hermitages in Italy: The hermitage of Camaldoli, Tuscany

In the heart of the Casentino forests, in the province of Arezzo, lies the hermitage of Camaldoli, a place of rare beauty that can be reached by climbing up to 1100 meters and crossing beech forests and untouched nature. These beech forests are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hermitage was built in the eleventh century by San Romualdo. Around the year 1012, he came to the Casentino forests and decided to found a hermitage in the midst of untouched nature.

Camaldoli Hermitage, Tuscany, Italy

Stone cells, walls in the monastery courtyard and the stone path to the chapel in the Camaldoli hermitage, Tuscany, Italy. (Photo © Shutterstock.com)

3. hermitages in Italy: Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, Lake Maggiore

On the eastern shore of Lake Maggiore in the province of Varese in Lombardy lies the hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso high above the lake and is one of the most beautiful sights in Lombardy. Legend has it that Alberto Besozzi, a usurer and merchant, was caught in a terrible storm on Lake Maggiore during a voyage in the 12th century. If he was saved, he vowed to dedicate his life to prayer in honor of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, to whom he was devoted.

 

Monastery of Santa Caterina del Sasso, Lake Maggiore, Lombardy, Italy

The hermit monastery of Santa Caterina del Sasso is a popular tourist attraction on Lake Maggiore, Lombardy, Italy. (Photo © Shutterstock.com)

4. hermitages in Italy: Santurio di Greccio, Lazio

The Santuario di Greccio is carved into the rock at an altitude of over 600 meters and is famous as the birthplace of the nativity scene. The Santuario di Greccio, a Franciscan pilgrimage church and hermitage above the town of Greccio, is the most famous of the four pilgrimage churches in the Sacred Valley of Rieti (alongside the pilgrimage church of Fonte Colombo, the pilgrimage church of Foresta and the pilgrimage church of Poggio Bustone). The Santuario di Greccio pilgrimage church was founded by St. Francis of Assisi and is nicknamed the "Franciscan Bethlehem" because it was here that St. Francis invented the nativity scene in 1223.

 

Hermitage of Greccio, Lazio, Italy

The hermitage of Greccio, sanctuary, a shrine built by St. Francis, Lazio, Italy. (Photo © Shutterstock.com)

5. hermitages in Italy: Santa Maria Infra Saxa hermitage, Marche region

The hermitage of Santa Maria Infra Saxa is located in Genga in the province of Ancona, Marche region. The first written mention of the hermitage dates back to 1029 and refers to a convent inhabited by Benedictine nuns. It is assumed that the population once took refuge in these caves from the attacks of the invaders. Nearby, also built in a cave, is the small church "Tempio di Valadier", which is well worth a visit.

 

Hermitage of Santa Maria Infra Saxa, Marche, Italy

On the left side of the Frasassi gorge, a large rock arch opens up, in which the hermitage of Santa Maria Infra Saxa, Marche, Italy, is located. (Photo © Shutterstock.com)

6. hermitages in Italy: Hermitage of San Bartolomeo in Legio, Abruzzo

The hermitage of San Bartolomeo in Legio is one of the most spectacular places in Abruzzo and can be reached via two paths. The hermitage is located in the municipality of Roccamorice in the province of Pescara, in the Maiella and Morrone Park, on the side of the Vallone di S. Spirito. The hermitage of San Bartolomeo in Legio was built before the 11th century and restored around 1250 by Pietro da Morrone, who later became Pope Coelestine V. After his return from Lyon, where he had traveled to obtain recognition for his Cölestine congregation from Pope Gregory X, Pietro da Morrone settled here for around two years.

Hermitages in Italy, Hermitage of St. Bartolomeo, Abruzzo, Italy

The hermitage of St. Bartolomeo in Legio in Roccamorice, Abruzzo, Italy. (Photo © Shutterstock.com)

7. hermitages in Italy: pilgrimage church Santuario di San Romedio, Trentino South Tyrol

The pilgrimage church of San Romedio is located on a steep rocky outcrop in the midst of the beautiful nature of the Val di Non (Val di Non) in the Trentino Alto Adige region. St. Romedio lived here for many years as a hermit. Legend has it that a brown bear kept him company. The incredible pilgrimage church consists of five small churches that overlap and are connected by a long staircase with 131 steps.

San Romedio pilgrimage church, Val di Non, Trentino South Tyrol, Italy

Picturesque view of the pilgrimage church of San Romedio, which is located on a steep rocky spur in the natural landscape of the Val di Non, Trentino Alto Adige, in northern Italy. (Photo © Shutterstock.com)

8. hermitages in Italy: Eremo dei Carceri, Umbria

The hermitage of Carcerci is located in a beautiful Umbrian landscape on Mount Subasio at an altitude of 800 m and is the place where St. Francis of Assisi and his followers withdrew to pray and meditate. The hermitage is located 4 km from Assisi near some natural caves that were already frequented by hermits in early Christian times. From the monastery, a steep staircase leads to a beech forest and the grotto of St. Francis of Assisi.

Eremo delle Carceri of St. Francis, Assisi, Umbria, Italy

Eremo delle Carceri of St. Francis in Assisi, Umbria, Italy. (Photo © Shutterstock.com)

9. hermitages in Italy: Eremo di San Martino, Trentino

The Eremo di San Martino (Hermitage of St. Martin) in Villa Lagarina is a remarkable historical and religious building in the Trentino-Alto Adige region of Italy. It is known for its secluded and picturesque location, which often serves as a spiritual retreat. The hermitage was built as a place of contemplation and reflection and is often visited by pilgrims and visitors seeking peace and inspiration.

The architecture of the Eremo di San Martino is an example of the religious architecture of the region, characterized by simple structures that blend harmoniously into the natural environment. The history of the Eremo is closely linked to local culture and tradition and reflects the deep religious significance that such places have had in Italy's history.

The hermitage is still a popular destination for visitors who want to gain an insight into the region's historical and religious past while enjoying the peaceful and inspiring atmosphere.

Eremo di San Martino, Villa Lagarina, Trentino, Italy

Eremo di San Martino, Trentino, Italy. (Photo © Camva.com)

Santuario di Greccio

San Romedio

Eremo dei Carceri

Eremo San Bartolomeo in Legio

Eremo Santa Maria Infra Saxa

Eremo Santa Caterina del Sasso

Eremo di Camaldoli

Eremo di San Colombano

Eremo San Martino, Villa Lagarina

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