Let’s go on a discovery trip to the most beautiful hermitages in Italy.

In the midst of unspoiled nature, with views of valleys, the sea and beautiful scenery and mostly accessible only on foot, we make a trip to the most spectacular places of prayer in Italy: the hermitages, also called hermitages or Eremi in Italian. These sacred places, once used by hermits and often inaccessible, can be reached today to enjoy peace and quiet and, above all, to enjoy the magnificent views.


1. hermitages in Italy: Hermitage of San Colombano, Trentino-South Tyrol

The location of the hermitage of San Colombano is truly spectacular. It almost seems as if the buildings merge with the 120 m high rock. To reach the Hermitage, you have to climb a staircase of over a hundred steps in the rock. According to legend, St. Columbanus killed the dragon that caused the death of baptized children in the waters of the Leno stream down in the valley. The hermitage of San Colombano was used until 1782 by hermit monks for meditation in complete seclusion.


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

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

In the heart of the Casentinesi woods, in the province of Arezzo, the Hermitage of Camaldoli is a place of rare beauty, reached by climbing up to 1100 meters, crossing beech woods and uncontaminated nature. By the way, these beech forests are Unesco World Heritage Sites. The hermitage was built by San Romualdo in the eleventh century. Around the year 1012 he arrived in the middle of the Casentino woods and decided to found a hermitage in the midst of unspoiled nature.


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

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

On the eastern shore of Lake Maggiore, in the province of Varese, in Lombardy, the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso overlooks the lake and is one of the most beautiful places in Lombardy to visit. According to legend, Alberto Besozzi, a usurer and merchant, fell victim to a terrible storm while sailing on Lake Maggiore in the 12th century. He vowed, if saved, to devote his life to prayer in honor of St. 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

Nestled in the rock at an altitude of over 600 meters above sea level, the Sanctuary of Greccio is famous for being the birthplace of the Christmas crib. The Santuario di Greccio is a Franciscan sanctuary and hermitage above the town of Greccio and is the most famous of the four sanctuaries of the Sacred Valley of Rieti (together with the Sanctuary of Fonte Colombo, the Santuario della Foresta and the Sanctuary of Poggio Bustone). The hermitage Santuario di Greccio was founded by St. Francis of Assisi and is nicknamed “the Franciscan Bethlehem” because it was in this place that St. Francis invented the manger in 1223.


Hermitage of Greccio, Lazio, Italy
The hermitage of Greccio, sanctuary, a place founded by St. Francis of Assisi. Sanctuary built by St. Francis, Lazio, Italy. (Photo © Shutterstock.com)

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

The hermitage of Santa Maria Infra Saxa, carved into a cave wall, is located in Genga, in the province of Ancona and Marche region. The first written records about the hermitage date back to 1029 and speak of a women’s monastery inhabited by Benedictine nuns. It is believed that the population once took refuge in these caves to escape the attacks of the invaders. Nearby also built in a cave is the small church “Tempio di Valadier” , very worth seeing.


Hermitage of Santa Maria Infra Saxa, Marche, Italy
On the left side of the gorge of Frasassi opens a large rock arch where 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 by two paths. The hermitage in the rock is located in the municipality of Roccamorice, in the province of Pescara, in the Park of Maiella and Morrone on the side of the Vallone di S. Spirito. The hermitage of San Bartolomeo in Legio was built before the 11th century and renovated around 1250 by Pietro da Morrone, who later became Pope Coelestine V. After his return from Lyon, where he had gone to obtain from Pope Gregory X the recognition of his Congregation of the Celestines, Pietro da Morrone settled there for about two years.


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

7. hermitages in Italy: Sanctuary of San Romedio, Trentino South Tyrol

The Sanctuary of San Romedio is located on a steep rocky spur, amidst the beautiful nature of the Non Valley (Val di Non) in the Trentino Alto Adige region. In this place St. Romedius lived for many years as a hermit. According to legend, a brown bear kept him company. The incredible sanctuary, consists of five small overlapping churches connected by a long staircase of 131 steps.


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

8. hermitages in Italy: Eremo dei Carceri, Umbria

Immersed in a beautiful Umbrian landscape and located at 800 meters above sea level, on Mount Subasio, the hermitage of Carcerci is the place where St. Francis of Assisi and his followers retreated to pray and meditate. The hermitage is located 4 km from Assisiand rises near some natural caves that were visited by hermits already in the early Christian period. A steep staircase leads from the monastery to a beech forest and the cave of St. Francis. Francis.

Text: Tomaso © Italy.blog

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