Fodor's Expert Review Santuario della Madonna del Sasso
With a breathtaking view of Locarno, the Sanctuary of the Madonna of the Rock crowns the hilltop hamlet of Orselina. Pilgrims make the steep hike up to it, but most others opt for the short funicular ride that boards close to the train station. The church is open to visitors, but you must reserve ahead to see the rest of the convent, where Brother Bartolomeo da Ivrea had a vision of the Virgin Mary in 1480. Inside the sanctuary are several side chapels with statues depicting scenes from the New Testament, such as the Last Supper. The church, which was given a neo-Renaissance facade in the late 19th century, is a lavish affair. Among its artistic treasures are Bramantino's 1520 Flight into Egypt and Ascona-born Antonio Ciseri's Christ Carried to the Sepulcher, a dramatic, Caravaggesque procession scene painted in 1870.