Founded in 1490, the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria Assunta above Claro is the oldest monastery in Ticino.
It stands alone on a rocky outcrop above the town of Claro, surrounded by chestnut woods and set within a truly stunning landscape shrouded in contemplative silence. The church, dedicated to Our Lady, dates to 1300.
The route climbs upwards from the top of Claro, following the signposted mule track that starts just after the parking area near the small church of Sant’Ambrogio.
Following this track is like stepping back in time, like the metaphor of a life: sometimes challenging, full of bends and forks, leading you away from hectic daily life towards silence. Although the climb is steep and somewhat tiring, once you reach the crag you will be amazed by the beautiful view and the peace and quiet. When visiting the monastery you will have the chance to see some truly beautiful paintings and sculptures, as well as to admire the breathtaking view over the Riviera Valley, which extends from Bellinzona to Biasca.
The monastic buildings have been restored over recent years, endowing them with renewed beauty and harmony. Lovers of art in all its many forms will be in their element. The monastery houses three neoclassical altars and wall paintings from the late fifteenth century. The gilded and painted lime wood sculptural group of the Pietà, situated on a side altar dating back to the fifteenth–sixteenth century, is also of particular artistic interest.
A cableway departing from Claro provides easy access for those who cannot or do not want to walk.
The monastery reception also sells biscuits, jams and honey, real delicacies made by the cloistered nuns themselves.
Anyone wanting to spend a few days on a spiritual retreat in this silent and peaceful atmosphere should contact the monastery directly.
- Hiking boots
- Sun cap
- Sun cream
- Hiking map
Montagnepulite: This project was born to promote an effective management and sustainable use of mountain huts in Ticino, and in particular the litter management. The responsible management of litter in the mountains is a matter of common sense. We can all contribute: https://www.montagnepulite.ch/en/golden-rules