Basilica of San Pietro al Monte: a walk to a treasure in the wood
Basilica of San Pietro al Monte in Civate is a place of worship of considerable artistic interest at European level. It is situated in an isolated position at an altitude of about 650 meters and it can be reached by walking for about an hour along a path through the woods.
According to a legend, the church and the monastery of S. Pietro al Monte were founded by Desiderio, king of the Longobards as a sign of gratitude to God for having given his son Adalgiso back his sight, after being suddenly struck by blindness.
The construction was built with hewn stones and has a single nave basilica plan, defined by two apses, one to the west and the other to east. The exterior of the building, in Romanesque aspect, is decorated with hanging arches and pilaster strips at set distances according to the typical style of the Como master builders. The pilgrim, having reached the top of the staircase is welcomed by Christ, depicted over the door, standing with his arms open in the act of founding the church, handing over the keys to St.Peter and the book of his word to St.Paul.
All the decoration in the Basilica of S. Pietro al Monte, consisting of frescoes and stuccoes, is a catechetical teaching of the mystery of salvation for the pilgrim. It was instead made in different periods of time and by different artists, most likely by the Benedictine monks themselves.
The Basilica of San Pietro al Monte can be reached only on foot, following the route that connects the monastery to the most ancient part of Civate village. The trail is under shadow trees, perfect for a walk for families with kids, even if the trail lasts about one hour. Walk this route in spring and autumn, or during the summer in early morning. From the route you can admire marvelous sceneries above Lake Annone and to Monte Resegone and Monte Barro.
The Basilica is open on Sundays from 10.00 to 12.00 and from 13.00 to 16.00 for visit, also guided tours on request. From March to October the Basilica is open on Saturdays from 10.00 to 12.00 and from 13.00 to 15.00.
The Basilica is open for celebrations all first Sundays of the month: keep an appropriated behaviour in the external area of the Basilica.
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