A physical journey in a spiritual place.
History and legend tell that the idea of the construction of a Sacred Mount placed on a rocky wall dominating the village of Varallo was conceived in 1481 by Franciscan friar Bernardino Caimi.
By the middle of the fifteenth century, in the West, there began to be a strong need to reproduce the places of the Holy Land, towards which the pilgrimage was becoming more and more dangerous because of the Turks.
Examples of this necessity are, first of all, church-style churches recalling the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem or the great Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie, near Forlì wanted in 1450 by a former converted pirate Albanian, Pietro Bianco da Durazzo, which was in close contact with Bernardino da Siena. At the basis of Bernardino Caimi's project there was therefore the desire to reproduce, for the benefit of the faithful, no longer the only Resurrection Basilica, but all the most emblematic places in the Holy Land: the place was to be an authentic alternative to the pilgrimage; hence the expression New Jerusalem, later used to identify the Sacred Mount of Varallo.
[ source: Sacro Monte di Varallo ]