Pilgrims path towards Sacred Mounts reaches its most symbolic meaning
and the biggest amount of emblematic contents at mountain relief’s summit, where the architectural complexe rises; from here the path branches
out creating devotional routes which go from one building to the following one, until the end of the telling. Each Sacred Mount expresses
its history and shows its building peculiarities also through devotional itinerary’s shapes, creating in each case a sort of unique space.
Paths’ surfaces can really be varied: cobbled, paved, simple tracks along grass slopes or woods’ shadowing paths.
Thanks to surrounding natural landscapes, each itinerary is very special: there is the large and refined one of Varese, the one in
Varallo planned like an urban street-net, or those more environmentally integrated of Crea, Belmonte, Ghiffa, which are simple paths
going throughout woods, neither cobbled.
A natural mountain pasture, steep and grass, surely not created by human intervention, houses Oropa’s chapels and the itinerary which
binds them; this steep slope has a symbolic value because it represents the efforts you endure following a spiritual path of ascesis.
Dura Via est? Christi est. That is, Is it the path hard? This is Christ’s.
You can read this writing on the wall of
a chapel of Domodossola’s Sacred Mount: it underlines the useful passage through efforts, even symbolic ones, to reach a deeper Knowledge.
Devotional itineraries usually start either from urban or from religious contexts: the first part goes throughout welcoming
environmental spaces, while in the last part, among chapels, itinerary’s shapes and rythms become more rigorously defined and attract
pilgrims’ attention on the sacred scenes there represented.