The Hermitage of San Michele is located in the valley of the same name, not far from Tremosine sul Garda. The path to reach it heads north following the slopes of Mount Tremalzo, on the border between Lombardy and Trentino.
Trekking in the San Michele Valley
Trekking in the woods of the San Michele valley is a unique experience that allows you to immerse yourself in wild nature - in fact, this state forest is one of the largest in the province of Brescia, within the Alto Garda Bresciano Park. After the Alpe del Garda Dairy, the valley opens up and becomes flatter, which makes it perfect for a walk with children.
The Hermitage’s Mystical Past
After an easy walk, you‘ll see the Hermitage of San Michele on top of a hill, an ancient building surrounded by an aura of mysticism.
It resembles a fort in terms of position - from the Hermitage, you can see the entire valley.
In fact, its origin is religious and it dates back to the year 1000. Archaeological finds in and around the Hermitage support this thesis, but the current building dates back to around 1300.
The church dedicated to San Michele Arcangelo is so ancient that it seems to have been built by the Lombards, who converted to Christianity and declared San Michele as their patron saint.
San Michele is the patron saint of those who work with fire, like the workers of the forges and the charcoal burners that were once common in these areas, especially in the Brasa Valley.
It became an official hermitage around 1679, when the Veronese poet Florentio Feliberi lived and died there. The building was abandoned during the 19th century and it is currently managed by Franciscan friars.
The most important dates dedicated to San Michele are May 8th and September 29th. In the past, on these dates, worshippers from the valley reached the Hermitage on foot to pay homage.
How to get to the Hermitage of San Michele
Getting there is very simple: just leave your car at the Alpe del Garda Dairy in Polzone di Tremosine sul Garda and continue north until you reach a dirt road entering the valley. At the first turn, head towards the Lorina mountain hut, and at the next follow the Tremalzo sign. After about ten minutes walk you will reach the slopes of the Hermitage of San Michele.
A curious fact about the Hermitage of San Michele
The flat area that leads to the hermitage is called Prato delle Noci.